BMC Infect Dis. 2020 Dec 17;20(1):959. doi: 10.1186/s12879-020-05688-y.
BACKGROUND: Previous published prognostic models for COVID-19 patients have been suggested to be prone to bias due to unrepresentativeness of patient population, lack of external validation, inappropriate statistical analyses, or poor reporting. A high-quality and easy-to-use prognostic model to predict in-hospital mortality for COVID-19 patients could support physicians to make better clinical decisions.
METHODS: Fine-Gray models were used to derive a prognostic model to predict in-hospital mortality (treating discharged alive from hospital as the competing event) in COVID-19 patients using two retrospective cohorts (n = 1008) in Wuhan, China from January 1 to February 10, 2020. The proposed model was internally evaluated by bootstrap approach and externally evaluated in an external cohort (n = 1031).
RESULTS: The derivation cohort was a case-mix of mild-to-severe hospitalized COVID-19 patients (43.6% females, median age 55). The final model (PLANS), including five predictor variables of platelet count, lymphocyte count, age, neutrophil count, and sex, had an excellent predictive performance (optimism-adjusted C-index: 0.85, 95% CI: 0.83 to 0.87; averaged calibration slope: 0.95, 95% CI: 0.82 to 1.08). Internal validation showed little overfitting. External validation using an independent cohort (47.8% female, median age 63) demonstrated excellent predictive performance (C-index: 0.87, 95% CI: 0.85 to 0.89; calibration slope: 1.02, 95% CI: 0.92 to 1.12). The averaged predicted cumulative incidence curves were close to the observed cumulative incidence curves in patients with different risk profiles.
CONCLUSIONS: The PLANS model based on five routinely collected predictors would assist clinicians in better triaging patients and allocating healthcare resources to reduce COVID-19 fatality.