Learning Multimorbidity Patterns from Electronic Health Records Using Non-negative Matrix Factorisation

by   Abdelaali Hassaine, et al.

Multimorbidity, or the presence of several medical conditions in the same individual, have been increasing in the population both in absolute and relative terms. However, multimorbidity remains poorly understood, and the evidence from existing research to describe its burden, determinants and consequences have been limited. Many of these studies are often cross-sectional and do not explicitly account for multimorbidity patterns' evolution over time. Some studies were based on small datasets, used arbitrary or narrow age range, or lacked appropriate clinical validations. In this study, we applied Non-negative Matrix Factorisation (NMF) in a novel way to one of the largest electronic health records (EHR) databases in the world (with 4 million patients), for simultaneously modelling disease clusters and their role in one's multimorbidity over time. Furthermore, we demonstrated how the temporal characteristics that our model associates with each disease cluster can help mine disease trajectories/networks and generate new hypotheses for the formation of multimorbidity clusters as a function of time/ageing. Our results suggest that our method's ability to learn the underlying dynamics of diseases can provide the field with a novel data-driven / exploratory way of learning the patterns of multimorbidity and their interactions over time.


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