Adaptation of the Charlson Comorbidity Index for Register-Based Research in Sweden

Clin Epidemiol. 2021 Jan 12:13:21-41. doi: 10.2147/CLEP.S282475. eCollection 2021.


Purpose: Comorbidity indices are often used to measure comorbidities in register-based research. We aimed to adapt the Charlson comorbidity index (CCI) to a Swedish setting.

Methods: Four versions of the CCI were compared and evaluated by disease-specific experts.

Results: We created a cohesive coding system for CCI to 1) harmonize the content between different international classification of disease codes (ICD-7,8,9,10), 2) delete incorrect codes, 3) enhance the distinction between mild, moderate or severe disease (and between diabetes with and without end-organ damage), 4) minimize duplication of codes, and 5) briefly explain the meaning of individual codes in writing.

Conclusion: This work may provide an integrated and efficient coding algorithm for CCI to be used in medical register-based research in Sweden.

Keywords: Charlson comorbidity score; Sweden; comorbidity; disease; epidemiology; public health.

Grants and funding

The study did not receive any external funding.