A simple index predicting mortality in acutely hospitalized patients

P. Froom, Z. Shimoni, J. Benbassat, B. Silke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Mortality rates used to evaluate and improve the quality of hospital care are adjusted for comorbidity and disease severity. Comorbidity, measured by International Classification of Diseases codes, do not reflect the severity of the medical condition, that requires clinical assessments not available in electronic databases, and/or laboratory data with clinically relevant ranges to permit extrapolation from one setting to the next. Aim: To propose a simple index predicting mortality in acutely hospitalized patients. Design: Retrospective cohort study with internal and external validation. Methods: The study populations were all acutely admitted patients in 2015-16, and in January 2019-November 2019 to internal medicine, cardiology and intensive care departments at the Laniado Hospital in Israel, and in 2002-19, at St. James Hospital, Ireland. Predictor variables were age and admission laboratory tests. The outcome variable was in-hospital mortality. Using logistic regression of the data in the 2015-16 Israeli cohort, we derived an index that included age groups and significant laboratory data. Results: In the Israeli 2015-16 cohort, the index predicted mortality rates from 0.2% to 32.0% with a c-statistic (area under the receiver operator characteristic curve) of 0.86. In the Israeli 2019 validation cohort, the index predicted mortality rates from 0.3% to 38.9% with a c-statistic of 0.87. An abbreviated index performed similarly in the Irish 2002-19 cohort. Conclusions: Hospital mortality can be predicted by age and selected admission laboratory data without acquiring information from the patient's medical records. This permits an inexpensive comparison of performance of hospital departments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-104
Number of pages6
JournalQJM - Monthly Journal of the Association of Physicians
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2021


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