We developed and independently validated a rheumatoid arthritis (RA) mortality prediction model using the machine learning method Random Survival Forests (RSF). Two independent cohorts from Madrid (Spain) were used: the Hospital Clínico San Carlos RA Cohort (HCSC-RAC; training; 1,461 patients), and the Hospital Universitario de La Princesa Early Arthritis Register Longitudinal study (PEARL; validation; 280 patients). Demographic and clinical-related variables collected during the first two years after disease diagnosis were used. 148 and 21 patients from HCSC-RAC and PEARL died during a median follow-up time of 4.3 and 5.0 years, respectively. Age at diagnosis, median erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and number of hospital admissions showed the higher predictive capacity. Prediction errors in the training and validation cohorts were 0.187 and 0.233, respectively. A survival tree identified five mortality risk groups using the predicted ensemble mortality. After 1 and 7 years of follow-up, time-dependent specificity and sensitivity in the validation cohort were 0.79–0.80 and 0.43–0.48, respectively, using the cut-off value dividing the two lower risk categories. Calibration curves showed overestimation of the mortality risk in the validation cohort. In conclusion, we were able to develop a clinical prediction model for RA mortality using RSF, providing evidence for further work on external validation.

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Published on 01/01/2017

DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-10558-w
Licence: CC BY-NC-SA license

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