Bylsma LC, Ording AG, Rosenthal A, Öztürk B, Fryzek JP, Arias JM, Röth A, Berentsen S. 2019. Occurrence, thromboembolic risk, and mortality in Danish patients with cold agglutinin disease. Blood Advances 3(20):2980–2985.
Cold agglutinin disease (CAD) is a rare form of autoimmune hemolytic anemia with limited epidemiological and clinical data. We used the Danish National Patient Registries to examine CAD occurrence and risk of thromboembolic events (TEs) and mortality in CAD patients compared with a matched cohort from the general population in Denmark. We identified 72 patients diagnosed with CAD and 720 matched controls between 1999 and 2013. For 2013, the most recent year of study, crude incidence of CAD was 0.18 per 100 000 inhabitants per year and prevalence was 1.26 per 100 000 inhabitants. Risk of TEs was higher in the CAD patient cohort than in the comparison cohort at 1 year (7.2% of CAD patients had TEs vs 1.9% of comparisons), 3 years (9.0% vs 5.3%), and 5 years (11.5% vs 7.8%) after the index date. The median survival was 8.5 years. CAD patients had increased mortality compared with the general population cohort (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 1.84; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.10-3.06; P 5 .020), with the highest mortality observed during the first 5 years after diagnosis (aHR, 2.27; 95% CI, 1.32-3.89; P 5 .003). Mortality rates 1 and 5 years after diagnosis were 17% and 39% in the CAD group vs 3% and 18% in the comparison cohort, respectively. CAD is a rare illness characterized by increased risk of TEs and mortality.