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The DANish Comorbidity Index for Acute Myocardial Infarction (DANCAMI): Development, Validation and Comparison with Existing Comorbidity Indices

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Objective: To develop and validate the DANish Comorbidity index for Acute Myocardial Infarction (DANCAMI) for adjustment of comorbidity burden in studies of myocardial infarction prognosis. Methods: Using medical registries, we identified patients with first-time myocardial infarction in Denmark during 2000–2013 (n=36,685). We developed comorbidity indices predicting 1-year all-cause mortality from all comorbidities (DANCAMI) and restricted to non-cardiovascular comorbidities (rDANCAMI). For variable selection, we eliminated comorbidities stepwise using hazard ratios from multivariable Cox models. We compared DANCAMI/rDANCAMI with Charlson and Elixhauser comorbidity indices using standard performance measures (Nagelkerke’s R2, Harrell’s C-statistic, the Integrated Discrimination Improvement, and the continuous Net Reclassification Index). We assessed the significance of the novel DANCAMI variables not included in the Charlson Comorbidity Index. External validation was performed in patients with myocardial infarction in New Zealand during 2007–2016 (n=75,069). Results: The DANCAMI included 24 comorbidities. The rDANCAMI included 17 non-cardiovascular comorbidities. In the Danish cohort, the DANCAMI indices outperformed both the Charlson and the Elixhauser comorbidity indices on all performance measures. The DANCAMI indices included multiple variables that were significant predictors of 1-year mortality even after controlling for all variables in the Charlson Comorbidity Index. These novel variables included valvular heart disease (hazard ratio for 1-year mortality=1.25, 95% CI: 1.14–1.35), coagulopathy (1.13, 95% CI: 1.05–1.22), alcohol and drug abuse (1.35, 95% CI: 1.15–1.58), schizophrenia (1.60, 95% CI: 1.46–1.76), affective disorder (1.29, 95% CI: 1.22–1.36), epilepsy (1.26, 95% CI: 1.05–1.50), neurodegenerative disorder (1.30, 95% CI: 1.10–1.54) and chronic pancreatitis (1.71, 95% CI: 1.14–2.56). The results were supported by the external validation in New Zealand. Conclusion: DANCAMI assessed comorbidity burden of patients with first-time myocardial infarction, outperformed existing comorbidity indices, and was generalizable to patients outside Denmark. DANCAMI is recommended as a standard approach for comorbidity adjustment in studies of myocardial infarction prognosis.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical epidemiology
Pages (from-to)1299-1311
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020

    Research areas

  • Comorbidity, Myocardial infarction, Prognosis, Risk score

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