Objectives To derive and validate a risk prediction equation to estimate the short term risk of death, and to develop a classification method for frailty based on risk of death and risk of unplanned hospital admission.
Design Prospective open cohort study.
Participants Routinely collected data from 1436 general practices contributing data to QResearch in England between 2012 and 2016. 1079 practices were used to develop the scores and a separate set of 357 practices to validate the scores. 1.47 million patients aged 65-100 years were in the derivation cohort and 0.50 million patients in the validation cohort.
Methods Cox proportional hazards models in the derivation cohort were used to derive separate risk equations in men and women for evaluation of the risk of death at one year. Risk factors considered were age, sex, ethnicity, deprivation, smoking status, alcohol intake, body mass index, medical conditions, specific drugs, social factors, and results of recent investigations. Measures of calibration and discrimination were determined in the validation cohort for men and women separately and for each age and ethnic group. The new mortality equation was used in conjunction with the existing QAdmissions equation (which predicts risk of unplanned hospital admission) to classify patients into frailty groups.
Main outcome measure The primary outcome was all cause mortality.
Results During follow-up 180 132 deaths were identified in the derivation cohort arising from 4.39 million person years of observation. The final model included terms for age, body mass index, Townsend score, ethnic group, smoking status, alcohol intake, unplanned hospital admissions in the past 12 months, atrial fibrillation, antipsychotics, cancer, asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, living in a care home, congestive heart failure, corticosteroids, cardiovascular disease, dementia, epilepsy, learning disability, leg ulcer, chronic liver disease or pancreatitis, Parkinson’s disease, poor mobility, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic kidney disease, type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, venous thromboembolism, anaemia, abnormal liver function test result, high platelet count, visited doctor in the past year with either appetite loss, unexpected weight loss, or breathlessness. The model had good calibration and high levels of explained variation and discrimination. In women, the equation explained 55.6% of the variation in time to death (R2), and had very good discrimination—the D statistic was 2.29, and Harrell’s C statistic value was 0.85. The corresponding values for men were 53.1%, 2.18, and 0.84. By combining predicted risks of mortality and unplanned hospital admissions, 2.7% of patients (n=13 665) were classified as severely frail, 9.4% (n=46 770) as moderately frail, 43.1% (n=215 253) as mildly frail, and 44.8% (n=223 790) as fit.
Conclusions We have developed new equations to predict the short term risk of death in men and women aged 65 or more, taking account of demographic, social, and clinical variables. The equations had good performance on a separate validation cohort. The QMortality equations can be used in conjunction with the QAdmissions equations, to classify patients into four frailty groups (known as QFrailty categories) to enable patients to be identified for further assessment or interventions.
Reference: BMJ 2017;358:j4208