The derivation and validation of a simple model for predicting in-hospital mortality of acutely admitted patients to internal medicine wards

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Limited information is available about clinical predictors of in-hospital mortality in acute unselected medical admissions. Such information could assist medical decision-making.To develop a clinical model for predicting in-hospital mortality in unselected acute medical admissions and to test the impact of secondary conditions on hospital mortality.This is an analysis of the medical records of patients admitted to internal medicine wards at one university-affiliated hospital. Data obtained from the years 2013 to 2014 were used as a derivation dataset for creating a prediction model, while data from 2015 was used as a validation dataset to test the performance of the model. For each admission, a set of clinical and epidemiological variables was obtained. The main diagnosis at hospitalization was recorded, and all additional or secondary conditions that coexisted at hospital admission or that developed during hospital stay were considered secondary conditions.The derivation and validation datasets included 7268 and 7843 patients, respectively. The in-hospital mortality rate averaged 7.2%. The following variables entered the final model; age, body mass index, mean arterial pressure on admission, prior admission within 3 months, background morbidity of heart failure and active malignancy, and chronic use of statins and antiplatelet agents. The c-statistic (ROC-AUC) of the prediction model was 80.5% without adjustment for main or secondary conditions, 84.5%, with adjustment for the main diagnosis, and 89.5% with adjustment for the main diagnosis and secondary conditions. The accuracy of the predictive model reached 81% on the validation dataset.A prediction model based on clinical data with adjustment for secondary conditions exhibited a high degree of prediction accuracy. We provide a proof of concept that there is an added value for incorporating secondary conditions while predicting probabilities of in-hospital mortality. Further improvement of the model performance and validation in other cohorts are needed to aid hospitalists in predicting health outcomes.

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