ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0229.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: FAIR principles; Multimorbidity; Mortality; Research data management; Pathfinder case study; Privacy-Preserving Distributed Data Mining.
Online: 17 January 2022 (13:04:03 CET)
The current availability of electronic health records represents an excellent research opportunity on multimorbidity, one of the most relevant public health problems nowadays. However, it also poses a methodological challenge due to the current lack of tools to access, harmonize and reuse research datasets. In FAIR4Health, a European Horizon 2020 project, a workflow to implement the FAIR (Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability, and Reusability) principles on health datasets was developed, as well as two tools aimed at facilitating the transformation of raw datasets into FAIR ones and the preservation of data privacy. As part of this project, we conducted a multicentric retrospective observational study to apply the aforementioned FAIR implementation workflow and tools to five European health datasets for research on multimorbidity. We applied a federated frequent pattern growth association algorithm to identify the most frequent combinations of chronic diseases and their association with mortality risk. We identified several multimorbidity patterns clinically plausible and consistent with the bibliography, some of which were strongly associated with mortality. Our results show the usefulness of the solution developed in FAIR4Health to overcome the difficulties in data management and highlight the importance of implementing a FAIR data policy to accelerate responsible health research.