Assessing Statewide All-Cause Future One-Year Mortality: Prospective Study With Implications for Quality of Life, Resource Utilization, and Medical Futility. Journal of medical Internet research Guo, Y. n., Zheng, G. n., Fu, T. n., Hao, S. n., Ye, C. n., Zheng, L. n., Liu, M. n., Xia, M. n., Jin, B. n., Zhu, C. n., Wang, O. n., Wu, Q. n., Culver, D. S., Alfreds, S. T., Stearns, F. n., Kanov, L. n., Bhatia, A. n., Sylvester, K. G., Widen, E. n., McElhinney, D. B., Ling, X. B. 2018; 20 (6): e10311


For many elderly patients, a disproportionate amount of health care resources and expenditures is spent during the last year of life, despite the discomfort and reduced quality of life associated with many aggressive medical approaches. However, few prognostic tools have focused on predicting all-cause 1-year mortality among elderly patients at a statewide level, an issue that has implications for improving quality of life while distributing scarce resources fairly.Using data from a statewide elderly population (aged =65 years), we sought to prospectively validate an algorithm to identify patients at risk for dying in the next year for the purpose of minimizing decision uncertainty, improving quality of life, and reducing futile treatment.Analysis was performed using electronic medical records from the Health Information Exchange in the state of Maine, which covered records of nearly 95% of the statewide population. The model was developed from 125,896 patients aged at least 65 years who were discharged from any care facility in the Health Information Exchange network from September 5, 2013, to September 4, 2015. Validation was conducted using 153,199 patients with same inclusion and exclusion criteria from September 5, 2014, to September 4, 2016. Patients were stratified into risk groups. The association between all-cause 1-year mortality and risk factors was screened by chi-squared test and manually reviewed by 2 clinicians. We calculated risk scores for individual patients using a gradient tree-based boost algorithm, which measured the probability of mortality within the next year based on the preceding 1-year clinical profile.The development sample included 125,896 patients (72,572 women, 57.64%; mean 74.2 [SD 7.7] years). The final validation cohort included 153,199 patients (88,177 women, 57.56%; mean 74.3 [SD 7.8] years). The c-statistic for discrimination was 0.96 (95% CI 0.93-0.98) in the development group and 0.91 (95% CI 0.90-0.94) in the validation cohort. The mortality was 0.99% in the low-risk group, 16.75% in the intermediate-risk group, and 72.12% in the high-risk group. A total of 99 independent risk factors (n=99) for mortality were identified (reported as odds ratios; 95% CI). Age was on the top of list (1.41; 1.06-1.48); congestive heart failure (20.90; 15.41-28.08) and different tumor sites were also recognized as driving risk factors, such as cancer of the ovaries (14.42; 2.24-53.04), colon (14.07; 10.08-19.08), and stomach (13.64; 3.26-86.57). Disparities were also found in patients' social determinants like respiratory hazard index (1.24; 0.92-1.40) and unemployment rate (1.18; 0.98-1.24). Among high-risk patients who expired in our dataset, cerebrovascular accident, amputation, and type 1 diabetes were the top 3 diseases in terms of average cost in the last year of life.Our study prospectively validated an accurate 1-year risk prediction model and stratification for the elderly population (=65 years) at risk of mortality with statewide electronic medical record datasets. It should be a valuable adjunct for helping patients to make better quality-of-life choices and alerting care givers to target high-risk elderly for appropriate care and discussions, thus cutting back on futile treatment.

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