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J Epidemiol Community Health ; 2021 Sep 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1443618


BACKGROUND: The Veterans Health Administration COVID-19 (VACO) Index predicts 30-day all-cause mortality in patients with COVID-19 using age, sex and pre-existing comorbidity diagnoses. The VACO Index was initially developed and validated in a nationwide cohort of US veterans-we now assess its accuracy in an academic medical centre and a nationwide US Medicare cohort. METHODS: With measures and weights previously derived and validated in US national Veterans Health Administration (VA) inpatients and outpatients (n=13 323), we evaluated the accuracy of the VACO Index for estimating 30-day all-cause mortality using area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) and calibration plots of predicted versus observed mortality in inpatients at a single US academic medical centre (n=1307) and in Medicare inpatients and outpatients aged 65+ (n=427 224). RESULTS: 30-day mortality varied by data source: VA 8.5%, academic medical centre 17.5%, Medicare 16.0%. The VACO Index demonstrated similar discrimination in VA (AUC=0.82) and academic medical centre inpatient population (AUC=0.80), and when restricted to patients aged 65+ in VA (AUC=0.69) and Medicare inpatient and outpatient data (AUC=0.67). The Index modestly overestimated risk in VA and Medicare data and underestimated risk in Yale New Haven Hospital data. CONCLUSIONS: The VACO Index estimates risk of short-term mortality across a wide variety of patients with COVID-19 using data available prior to or at the time of diagnosis. The VACO Index could help inform primary and booster vaccination prioritisation, and indicate who among outpatients testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 should receive greater clinical attention or scarce treatments.

PLoS One ; 15(11): e0241825, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-919031


BACKGROUND: Available COVID-19 mortality indices are limited to acute inpatient data. Using nationwide medical administrative data available prior to SARS-CoV-2 infection from the US Veterans Health Administration (VA), we developed the VA COVID-19 (VACO) 30-day mortality index and validated the index in two independent, prospective samples. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We reviewed SARS-CoV-2 testing results within the VA between February 8 and August 18, 2020. The sample was split into a development cohort (test positive between March 2 and April 15, 2020), an early validation cohort (test positive between April 16 and May 18, 2020), and a late validation cohort (test positive between May 19 and July 19, 2020). Our logistic regression model in the development cohort considered demographics (age, sex, race/ethnicity), and pre-existing medical conditions and the Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI) derived from ICD-10 diagnosis codes. Weights were fixed to create the VACO Index that was then validated by comparing area under receiver operating characteristic curves (AUC) in the early and late validation cohorts and among important validation cohort subgroups defined by sex, race/ethnicity, and geographic region. We also evaluated calibration curves and the range of predictions generated within age categories. 13,323 individuals tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 (median age: 63 years; 91% male; 42% non-Hispanic Black). We observed 480/3,681 (13%) deaths in development, 253/2,151 (12%) deaths in the early validation cohort, and 403/7,491 (5%) deaths in the late validation cohort. Age, multimorbidity described with CCI, and a history of myocardial infarction or peripheral vascular disease were independently associated with mortality-no other individual comorbid diagnosis provided additional information. The VACO Index discriminated mortality in development (AUC = 0.79, 95% CI: 0.77-0.81), and in early (AUC = 0.81 95% CI: 0.78-0.83) and late (AUC = 0.84, 95% CI: 0.78-0.86) validation. The VACO Index allows personalized estimates of 30-day mortality after COVID-19 infection. For example, among those aged 60-64 years, overall mortality was estimated at 9% (95% CI: 6-11%). The Index further discriminated risk in this age stratum from 4% (95% CI: 3-7%) to 21% (95% CI: 12-31%), depending on sex and comorbid disease. CONCLUSION: Prior to infection, demographics and comorbid conditions can discriminate COVID-19 mortality risk overall and within age strata. The VACO Index reproducibly identified individuals at substantial risk of COVID-19 mortality who might consider continuing social distancing, despite relaxed state and local guidelines.

Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Area Under Curve , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Comorbidity , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Databases, Factual , Female , Humans , Logistic Models , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , ROC Curve , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Veterans Health , Young Adult