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In Scientific reports ; h5-index 158.0

With the development of data mining, machine learning offers opportunities to improve discrimination by analyzing complex interactions among massive variables. To test the ability of machine learning algorithms for predicting risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in a rural Chinese population, we focus on a total of 36,652 eligible participants from the Henan Rural Cohort Study. Risk assessment models for T2DM were developed using six machine learning algorithms, including logistic regression (LR), classification and regression tree (CART), artificial neural networks (ANN), support vector machine (SVM), random forest (RF) and gradient boosting machine (GBM). The model performance was measured in an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve, sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value and area under precision recall curve. The importance of variables was identified based on each classifier and the shapley additive explanations approach. Using all available variables, all models for predicting risk of T2DM demonstrated strong predictive performance, with AUCs ranging between 0.811 and 0.872 using laboratory data and from 0.767 to 0.817 without laboratory data. Among them, the GBM model performed best (AUC: 0.872 with laboratory data and 0.817 without laboratory data). Performance of models plateaued when introduced 30 variables to each model except CART model. Among the top-10 variables across all methods were sweet flavor, urine glucose, age, heart rate, creatinine, waist circumference, uric acid, pulse pressure, insulin, and hypertension. New important risk factors (urinary indicators, sweet flavor) were not found in previous risk prediction methods, but determined by machine learning in our study. Through the results, machine learning methods showed competence in predicting risk of T2DM, leading to greater insights on disease risk factors with no priori assumption of causality.

Zhang Liying, Wang Yikang, Niu Miaomiao, Wang Chongjian, Wang Zhenfei