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In Medical & biological engineering & computing ; h5-index 32.0

Although some studies tried to identify risk factors for COVID-19, the evidence comparing COVID-19 and community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is inconclusive, and CAP is the most common pneumonia with similar symptoms as COVID-19. We conducted a case-control study with 35 routine-collected clinical indicators and demographic factors to identify predictors for COVID-19 with CAP as controls. We randomly split the dataset into a training set (70%) and testing set (30%). We built Explainable Boosting Machine to select the important factors and built a decision tree on selected variables to interpret their relationships. The top five individual predictors of COVID-19 are albumin, total bilirubin, monocyte count, alanine aminotransferase, and percentage of monocyte with the importance scores ranging from 0.078 to 0.567. The top systematic predictors for COVID-19 are liver function, monocyte increasing, plasma protein, granulocyte, and renal function (importance scores ranging 0.009-0.096). We identified five combinations of important indicators to screen COVID-19 patients from CAP patients with differentiating abilities ranging 83.3-100%. An online predictive tool for our model was published. Certain clinical indicators collected routinely from most hospitals could help screen and distinguish COVID-19 from CAP. While further verification is needed, our findings and predictive tool could help screen suspected COVID-19 cases.

Deng Xinlei, Li Han, Liao Xin, Qin Zhiqiang, Xu Fan, Friedman Samantha, Ma Gang, Ye Kun, Lin Shao


COVID-19, Community-acquired pneumonia, Machine learning, Predictor