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Date: 3rd May 2024
Time: 14:00 - 16:00
Location: IF 1.15

Title: Investigating associations between physical multimorbidity and subsequent depression via a systematic cluster analysis
Speakers: Lauren DeLong

Multimorbidity, the co-occurrence of two or more conditions within an individual, is a growing challenge for health and care delivery as well as for research Many multimorbidity studies focus upon the co-occurrence of physical health conditions, but mental health disorders are less represented. However, recent studies have revealed links of a bidirectional nature between depression and physical conditions. To investigate associations between physical multimorbidity and subsequent depression, we first performed a clustering analysis upon baseline morbidity data for UK Biobank participants. In contrast to previous similar studies, we compared the usefulness of four independent clustering methods. The identified clusters indicated which physical conditions tend to co-occur most frequently in the whole population and stratified by sex. Finally, we used survival analysis to compare time to subsequent depression diagnosis between participants with particular groups of physical conditions at baseline and those without physical conditions at baseline. In comparison to agglomerative hierarchical clustering, latent class analysis, and k­-medoids, we found that k-modes models showed the best clustering performance amongst several metrics. Notably, the differentially represented conditions within several clusters reflected known bodily systems, such as the respiratory or digestive systems. While we found that certain clusters had stronger associations with depression, we also noted a positive correlation between such associations and the average number of conditions per participant. Therefore, both the type and number of conditions likely influence the subsequent diagnosis of depression. Our findings suggest further investigation into other factors, like social ones, which may link the effects of physical multimorbidity and depression.