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Risk prediction for poor outcome and death in hospital in-patients with COVID-19: derivation in Wuhan, China and external validation in London, UK

By Huayu Zhang, Ting Shi, Xiaodong Wu, Xin Zhang, Kun Wang, Daniel Bean, Richard Dobson, James T Teo, Jiaxing Sun, Pei Zhao, Chenghong Li, Kevin Dhaliwal, Honghan Wu, Qiang Li, Bruce Guthrie

Posted 03 May 2020
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.04.28.20082222

Background Accurate risk prediction of clinical outcome would usefully inform clinical decisions and intervention targeting in COVID-19. The aim of this study was to derive and validate risk prediction models for poor outcome and death in adult inpatients with COVID-19. Methods Model derivation using data from Wuhan, China used logistic regression with death and poor outcome (death or severe disease) as outcomes. Predictors were demographic, comorbidity, symptom and laboratory test variables. The best performing models were externally validated in data from London, UK. Findings 4.3% of the derivation cohort (n=775) died and 9.7% had a poor outcome, compared to 34.1% and 42.9% of the validation cohort (n=226). In derivation, prediction models based on age, sex, neutrophil count, lymphocyte count, platelet count, C-reactive protein and creatinine had excellent discrimination (death c-index=0.91, poor outcome c-index=0.88), with good-to-excellent calibration. Using two cut-offs to define low, high and very-high risk groups, derivation patients were stratified in groups with observed death rates of 0.34%, 15.0% and 28.3% and poor outcome rates 0.63%, 8.9% and 58.5%. External validation discrimination was good (c-index death=0.74, poor outcome=0.72) as was calibration. However, observed rates of death were 16.5%, 42.9% and 58.4% and poor outcome 26.3%, 28.4% and 64.8% in predicted low, high and very-high risk groups. Interpretation Our prediction model using demography and routinely-available laboratory tests performed very well in internal validation in the lower-risk derivation population, but less well in the much higher-risk external validation population. Further external validation is needed. Collaboration to create larger derivation datasets, and to rapidly externally validate all proposed prediction models in a range of populations is needed, before routine implementation of any risk prediction tool in clinical care.

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