Novel multimorbidity clusters in people with eczema and asthma: a population-based cluster analysis

Amy R Mulick, Alasdair D Henderson, David Prieto-Merino, Kathryn E Mansfield, Julian Matthewman, Jennifer K Quint, Ronan A Lyons, Aziz Sheikh, David A McAllister, Dorothea Nitsch, Sinéad M Langan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Eczema and asthma are allergic diseases and two of the commonest chronic conditions in high-income countries. Their co-existence with other allergic conditions is common, but little research exists on wider multimorbidity with these conditions. We set out to identify and compare clusters of multimorbidity in people with eczema or asthma and people without. Using routinely-collected primary care data from the U.K. Clinical Research Practice Datalink GOLD, we identified adults ever having eczema (or asthma), and comparison groups never having eczema (or asthma). We derived clusters of multimorbidity from hierarchical cluster analysis of Jaccard distances between pairs of diagnostic categories estimated from mixed-effects logistic regressions. We analysed 434,422 individuals with eczema (58% female, median age 47 years) and 1,333,281 individuals without (55% female, 47 years), and 517,712 individuals with asthma (53% female, 44 years) and 1,601,210 individuals without (53% female, 45 years). Age at first morbidity, sex and having eczema/asthma affected the scope of multimorbidity, with women, older age and eczema/asthma being associated with larger morbidity clusters. Injuries, digestive, nervous system and mental health disorders were more commonly seen in eczema and asthma than control clusters. People with eczema and asthma of all ages and both sexes may experience greater multimorbidity than people without eczema and asthma, including conditions not previously recognised as contributing to their disease burden. This work highlights areas where there is a critical need for research addressing the burden and drivers of multimorbidity in order to inform strategies to reduce poor health outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21866
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 18 Dec 2022


  • Male
  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Female
  • Middle Aged
  • Multimorbidity
  • Prevalence
  • Eczema/epidemiology
  • Asthma/epidemiology
  • Cluster Analysis


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