Could clustering of comorbidities be useful for better defining the internal medicine patients’ complexity?

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Flavio Tangianu
Paola Gnerre
Fabrizio Colombo
Roberto Frediani
Giuliano Pinna
Franco Berti
Giovanni Mathieu
Micaela La Regina
Francesco Orlandini
Antonino Mazzone
Clelia Canale
Daniele Borioni
Roberto Nardi *
(*) Corresponding Author:
Roberto Nardi | nardidoc48@gmail.com

Abstract

Internal medicine patients are mostly elderly with multiple comorbidities, usually chronic. The high prevalence of comorbidity and multimorbidity has a significant impact on both positive responses to treatment and the occurrence of adverse events. Clustering is the process of nosography grouping into meaningful associations with some index disease, so that the objects within a cluster have high similarity in comparison with one another. In the decision-making process it is imperative that, in addition to understanding the immediate clinical problems, we are able to explicit all the contextual factors that have to be taken into account for the best outcome of care. Cluster analysis could be leveraged in developing better interventions targeted to improve health outcomes in subgroups of patients.

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