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OBJECTIVES: To explore clustering of comorbidities among patients with a new diagnosis of OA and estimate the 10-year mortality risk for each identified cluster. METHODS: This is a population-based cohort study of individuals with first incident diagnosis of OA of the hip, knee, ankle/foot, wrist/hand or 'unspecified' site between 2006 and 2020, using SIDIAP (a primary care database representative of Catalonia, Spain). At the time of OA diagnosis, conditions associated with OA in the literature that were found in ≥1% of the individuals (n = 35) were fitted into two cluster algorithms, k-means and latent class analysis. Models were assessed using a range of internal and external evaluation procedures. Mortality risk of the obtained clusters was assessed by survival analysis using Cox proportional hazards. RESULTS: We identified 633 330 patients with a diagnosis of OA. Our proposed best solution used latent class analysis to identify four clusters: 'low-morbidity' (relatively low number of comorbidities), 'back/neck pain plus mental health', 'metabolic syndrome' and 'multimorbidity' (higher prevalence of all studied comorbidities). Compared with the 'low-morbidity' cluster, the 'multimorbidity' cluster had the highest risk of 10-year mortality (adjusted hazard ratio [HR]: 2.19 [95% CI: 2.15, 2.23]), followed by the 'metabolic syndrome' cluster (adjusted HR: 1.24 [95% CI: 1.22, 1.27]) and the 'back/neck pain plus mental health' cluster (adjusted HR: 1.12 [95% CI: 1.09, 1.15]). CONCLUSION: Patients with a new diagnosis of OA can be clustered into groups based on their comorbidity profile, with significant differences in 10-year mortality risk. Further research is required to understand the interplay between OA and particular comorbidity groups, and the clinical significance of such results.

Original publication




Journal article


Rheumatology (oxford)

Publication Date





3592 - 3600


OA, clustering, comorbidities, epidemiology, Humans, Spain, Osteoarthritis, Knee, Cohort Studies, Neck Pain, Osteoarthritis, Hip, Comorbidity