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In PloS one ; h5-index 176.0

BACKGROUND : We developed a simple tool to estimate the probability of dying from acute COVID-19 illness only with readily available assessments at initial admission.

METHODS : This retrospective study included 13,190 racially and ethnically diverse adults admitted to one of the New York City Health + Hospitals (NYC H+H) system for COVID-19 illness between March 1 and June 30, 2020. Demographic characteristics, simple vital signs and routine clinical laboratory tests were collected from the electronic medical records. A clinical prediction model to estimate the risk of dying during the hospitalization were developed.

RESULTS : Mean age (interquartile range) was 58 (45-72) years; 5421 (41%) were women, 5258 were Latinx (40%), 3805 Black (29%), 1168 White (9%), and 2959 Other (22%). During hospitalization, 2,875 were (22%) died. Using separate test and validation samples, machine learning (Gradient Boosted Decision Trees) identified eight variables-oxygen saturation, respiratory rate, systolic and diastolic blood pressures, pulse rate, blood urea nitrogen level, age and creatinine-that predicted mortality, with an area under the ROC curve (AUC) of 94%. A score based on these variables classified 5,677 (46%) as low risk (a score of 0) who had 0.8% (95% confidence interval, 0.5-1.0%) risk of dying, and 674 (5.4%) as high-risk (score ≥ 12 points) who had a 97.6% (96.5-98.8%) risk of dying; the remainder had intermediate risks. A risk calculator is available online at

CONCLUSIONS : In a diverse population of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 illness, a clinical prediction model using a few readily available vital signs reflecting the severity of disease may precisely predict in-hospital mortality in diverse populations and can rapidly assist decisions to prioritize admissions and intensive care.

Kim Kyoung Min, Evans Daniel S, Jacobson Jessica, Jiang Xiaqing, Browner Warren, Cummings Steven R