Lecture: Multimorbidity & Survival  


Assigned Reading

Applications to Analysis of Prognosis

  • Review of findings in multimorbidity index Read►
  • Analysis of survival from stomach cancer Read►


For this assignment you can use any statistical software. Teams of 2 students can work together.  For this assignment please use the attached data.  Data►

  • Identify which diagnoses are complications of lung cancer and which ones are comorbidities.  I am not sure there is a good answer here but I am interested in how you think through distinguishing in the data what is a complication and what is comorbidity.  In my definition, complications are progression of a disease.  Therefore, they are in the causal pathway from disease to death.  Comorbidities are not in the causal pathway from the disease to death.  Complications mediate the effect of the disease on death.  Knowing the complication is sufficient to know the risk the patient faces and there is no need to know the original occurrence of the disease.  In other words when you know that the patient has the complication you also know that they have the disease.  Given these definition of complication, how would you identify in the data which diagnosis is a complication of lung cancer. 

  • What are the top 10 most frequent comorbidities/complications of lung cancer?
  • What is the average probability that a patient with long cancer will survive another year?
  • Assess years of survival for lung cancer patients who have no other comorbidity/complication.  The data presented includes lung cancer patients with multiple comorbidities and I am asking you to assess survival probability from lung cancer for otherwise healthy adult. 


For additional information (not part of the required reading), please see the following links:

  1. Complications and comorbidities Read►

This page is part of the course on Comparative Effectiveness by Farrokh Alemi, Ph.D. Home► Email►