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PLOS Medicine Special Issue: Cardiovascular disease and multimorbidity

Update: the submission deadline for the Special Issue on Cardiovascular disease and multimorbidity has been extended to October 13th.

The editors of PLOS Medicine together with guest editors Carolyn S. P. Lam, Kazem Rahimi, and Steven Steinhubl are delighted to announce a forthcoming special issue focused on cardiovascular disease and multimorbidity. Research submissions are now being invited, with a deadline of October 6, 2017.

PLOS Medicine, the leading open access medical journal published by PLOS, invites submissions of high-quality research studies to be considered for a special issue on the identification, prevention, and treatment of cardiovascular disease (CVD) with multimorbidity. This special issue, to be published in March 2018, will be guest edited by Dr Carolyn S. P. Lam of the Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore, Dr Kazem Rahimi of The George Institute for Global Health, University of Oxford, UK, and Dr Steven Steinhubl of the Scripps Translational Science Institute, USA. Alongside research articles, the special issue will include commissioned Perspectives by leaders in the field

CVD is the number one cause of death and disability globally, with an estimated 17.7 million deaths from CVD in 2015.  More than three-quarters of CVD deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. The demographic shift towards older populations across the globe and the relatively slower decline in morbidity compared with mortality from CVD have resulted in increasing numbers of people with both CVD and other chronic and disabling conditions. Multimorbidity, commonly defined as the presence of two or more chronic medical conditions in an individual, is linked to poorer outcomes, lower quality of life, and increased healthcare utilization.

Multimorbidity complicates the management of CVD. Comorbidities and their treatments may complicate the diagnosis, treatment and outcomes of patients with CVD, and may affect patient preferences for care. Most clinical research has focused on treating CVD in isolation, leaving gaps in the evidence for best practices in treating these patients, who are now becoming the norm rather than exception. In addition to clinical studies designed to improve management of patients with multimorbidity, large scale research studies are needed to characterize the burden and patterns of CVD with multimorbidity.

Individualized, or at least stratified, care is becoming an important focus for patients with multimorbidity. While precision medicine is not yet a clinical reality in cardiovascular care, advances in genomic sequencing and digital technologies hold promise for improving the classification of chronic conditions, together with risk prediction and treatment stratification. Furthermore, the use of mobile technologies can improve information exchange between physicians and patients and support alternative models of care.

For the special issue, we invite high-quality research studies with the potential to inform clinical practice or open new avenues of clinical research, with a focus on:

  • Large-scale epidemiological studies that characterize the burden, patterns and implications of multimorbidity among patients with CVD across geographical settings
  • Large-scale multi-marker studies that make use of biological, behavioral and environmental factors to develop better tools for disease classification or risk stratification
  • Clinical trials or meta-analyses that investigate stratified treatment effects by major co-morbidities or in the presence of frailty
  • Studies that inform about preferences of patients with CVD and multimorbidity for treatment and outcomes, or report on patient-reported outcomes in the setting of comorbidity
  • Interventional studies that investigate alternative models of care delivery, for example, those employing digital technologies, with a focus on populations that are typically under-represented in research

Please submit your manuscript at: The deadline is October 6th, 2017.

Should you wish to submit a presubmission inquiry instead of a full submission, please indicate your interest in the special issue in your cover letter. Questions about the special issue can be directed to


Image credit: geralt, Pixabay

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