Multimorbidity patterns among COVID-19 deaths: proposal for the construction of etiological models

Fernández-Niño et al.


To describe patterns of multimorbidity among fatal cases of COVID-19, and to propose a classification of patients based on age and multimorbidity patterns to begin the construction of etiological models.


Data of Colombian confirmed deaths of COVID-19 until June 11, 2020, were included in this analysis (n =1 488 deaths). Relationships between COVID-19, combinations of health conditions and age were explored using locally weighted polynomial regressions.


The most frequent health conditions were high blood pressure, respiratory disease, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and kidney disease. Dyads more frequents were high blood pressure with diabetes, cardiovascular disease or respiratory disease. Some multimorbidity patterns increase probability of death among older individuals, whereas other patterns are not age-related, or decrease the probability of death among older people. Not all multimorbidity increases with age, as is commonly thought. Obesity, alone or with other diseases, was associated with a higher risk of severity among young people, while the risk of the high blood pressure/diabetes dyad tends to have an inverted U distribution in relation with age.


Classification of individuals according to multimorbidity in the medical management of COVID-19
patients is important to determine the possible etiological models and to define patient triage for hospitalization. Moreover, identification of non-infected individuals with high-risk ages and multimorbidity patterns serves to define possible interventions of selective confinement or special management.

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