Analysis of mortality metrics associated with a comprehensive range of disorders in Denmark, 2000 to 2018: A population-based cohort study

PLoS Med. 2022 Jun 16;19(6):e1004023. doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1004023. eCollection 2022 Jun.


Background: The provision of different types of mortality metrics (e.g., mortality rate ratios [MRRs] and life expectancy) allows the research community to access a more informative set of health metrics. The aim of this study was to provide a panel of mortality metrics associated with a comprehensive range of disorders and to design a web page to visualize all results.

Methods and findings: In a population-based cohort of all 7,378,598 persons living in Denmark at some point between 2000 and 2018, we identified individuals diagnosed at hospitals with 1,803 specific categories of disorders through the International Classification of Diseases-10th Revision (ICD-10) in the National Patient Register. Information on date and cause of death was obtained from the Registry of Causes of Death. For each of the disorders, a panel of epidemiological and mortality metrics was estimated, including incidence rates, age-of-onset distributions, MRRs, and differences in life expectancy (estimated as life years lost [LYLs]). Additionally, we examined models that adjusted for measures of air pollution to explore potential associations with MRRs. We focus on 39 general medical conditions to simplify the presentation of results, which cover 10 broad categories: circulatory, endocrine, pulmonary, gastrointestinal, urogenital, musculoskeletal, hematologic, mental, and neurologic conditions and cancer. A total of 3,676,694 males and 3,701,904 females were followed up for 101.7 million person-years. During the 19-year follow-up period, 1,034,273 persons (14.0%) died. For 37 of the 39 selected medical conditions, mortality rates were larger and life expectancy shorter compared to the Danish general population. For these 37 disorders, MRRs ranged from 1.09 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.09 to 1.10) for vision problems to 7.85 (7.77 to 7.93) for chronic liver disease, while LYLs ranged from 0.31 (0.14 to 0.47) years (approximately 16 weeks) for allergy to 17.05 (16.95 to 17.15) years for chronic liver disease. Adjustment for air pollution had very little impact on the estimates; however, a limitation of the study is the possibility that the association between the different disorders and mortality could be explained by other underlying factors associated with both the disorder and mortality.

Conclusions: In this study, we show estimates of incidence, age of onset, age of death, and mortality metrics (both MRRs and LYLs) for a comprehensive range of disorders. The interactive data visualization site ( allows more fine-grained analysis of the link between a range of disorders and key mortality estimates.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollution*
  • Benchmarking*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Denmark / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Expectancy
  • Male
  • Mortality

Grants and funding

This study was supported by the Danish National Research Foundation, via a Niels Bohr Professorship to JM. OP-R is supported by a Lundbeck Foundation Fellowship (R345-2020-1588) and has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 837180. AP is supported by a grant from the Novo Nordisk Foundation (grant NNF18OC0031194). The air pollution modelling was partly funded by NordForsk under the Nordic Programme on Health and Welfare project #75007 (NordicWelfAir). The Danish Big Data Centre for Environment and Health is funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation Challenge Programme (grant NNF17OC0027864). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.