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In BMC nephrology ; h5-index 39.0

BACKGROUND : We developed machine learning models to understand the predictors of shorter-, intermediate-, and longer-term mortality among hemodialysis (HD) patients affected by COVID-19 in four countries in the Americas.

METHODS : We used data from adult HD patients treated at regional institutions of a global provider in Latin America (LatAm) and North America who contracted COVID-19 in 2020 before SARS-CoV-2 vaccines were available. Using 93 commonly captured variables, we developed machine learning models that predicted the likelihood of death overall, as well as during 0-14, 15-30, > 30 days after COVID-19 presentation and identified the importance of predictors. XGBoost models were built in parallel using the same programming with a 60%:20%:20% random split for training, validation, & testing data for the datasets from LatAm (Argentina, Columbia, Ecuador) and North America (United States) countries.

RESULTS : Among HD patients with COVID-19, 28.8% (1,001/3,473) died in LatAm and 20.5% (4,426/21,624) died in North America. Mortality occurred earlier in LatAm versus North America; 15.0% and 7.3% of patients died within 0-14 days, 7.9% and 4.6% of patients died within 15-30 days, and 5.9% and 8.6% of patients died > 30 days after COVID-19 presentation, respectively. Area under curve ranged from 0.73 to 0.83 across prediction models in both regions. Top predictors of death after COVID-19 consistently included older age, longer vintage, markers of poor nutrition and more inflammation in both regions at all timepoints. Unique patient attributes (higher BMI, male sex) were top predictors of mortality during 0-14 and 15-30 days after COVID-19, yet not mortality > 30 days after presentation.

CONCLUSIONS : Findings showed distinct profiles of mortality in COVID-19 in LatAm and North America throughout 2020. Mortality rate was higher within 0-14 and 15-30 days after COVID-19 in LatAm, while mortality rate was higher in North America > 30 days after presentation. Nonetheless, a remarkable proportion of HD patients died > 30 days after COVID-19 presentation in both regions. We were able to develop a series of suitable prognostic prediction models and establish the top predictors of death in COVID-19 during shorter-, intermediate-, and longer-term follow up periods.

Guinsburg Adrián M, Jiao Yue, Bessone María Inés Díaz, Monaghan Caitlin K, Magalhães Beatriz, Kraus Michael A, Kotanko Peter, Hymes Jeffrey L, Kossmann Robert J, Berbessi Juan Carlos, Maddux Franklin W, Usvyat Len A, Larkin John W


COVID-19, Hemodialysis, Machine Learning, Mortality Risk, Multinational, Prediction Model