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Sci Rep. 2018 Mar 14;8(1):4557. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-21779-y.

An Epidemiological Human Disease Network Derived from Disease Co-occurrence in Taiwan.

Author information

1
Graduate Institute of Business Administration, College of Management, Fu Jen Catholic University, New Taipei City, 24205, Taiwan.
2
Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, Connecticut, United States of America. shuangge.ma@yale.edu.
3
College of Management, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, 11031, Taiwan.
4
Graduate Institute of Business Administration, College of Management, Fu Jen Catholic University, New Taipei City, 24205, Taiwan. 036665@mail.fju.edu.tw.

Abstract

In "classic" biomedical research, diseases have usually been studied individually. The pioneering human disease network (HDN) studies jointly consider a large number of diseases, analyse their interconnections, and provide a more comprehensive description of diseases. However, most of the existing HDN studies are based on molecular information and can only partially describe disease interconnections. Building on the unique Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD), in this study, we construct the epidemiological HDN (eHDN), where two diseases are concluded as interconnected if their observed probability of co-occurrence deviating that expected under independence. Advancing from the existing HDN, the eHDN can also accommodate non-molecular connections and have more important practical implications. Building on the network construction, we examine important network properties such as connectivity, module, hub, and others and describe their temporal patterns. This study is among the first to systematically construct the eHDN and can have important implications for human disease research and health care and management.

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