The performance of acute versus antecedent patient characteristics for 1-year mortality prediction during intensive care unit admission: a national cohort study

Crit Care. 2020 Jun 11;24(1):330. doi: 10.1186/s13054-020-03017-y.


Background: Multiple factors contribute to mortality after ICU, but it is unclear how the predictive value of these factors changes during ICU admission. We aimed to compare the changing performance over time of the acute illness component, antecedent patient characteristics, and ICU length of stay (LOS) in predicting 1-year mortality.

Methods: In this retrospective observational cohort study, the discriminative value of four generalized mixed-effects models was compared for 1-year and hospital mortality. Among patients with increasing ICU LOS, the models included (a) acute illness factors and antecedent patient characteristics combined, (b) acute component only, (c) antecedent patient characteristics only, and (d) ICU LOS. For each analysis, discrimination was measured by area under the receiver operating characteristics curve (AUC), calculated using the bootstrap method. Statistical significance between the models was assessed using the DeLong method (p value < 0.05).

Results: In 400,248 ICU patients observed, hospital mortality was 11.8% and 1-year mortality 21.8%. At ICU admission, the combined model predicted 1-year mortality with an AUC of 0.84 (95% CI 0.84-0.84). When analyzed separately, the acute component progressively lost predictive power. From an ICU admission of at least 3 days, antecedent characteristics significantly exceeded the predictive value of the acute component for 1-year mortality, AUC 0.68 (95% CI 0.68-0.69) versus 0.67 (95% CI 0.67-0.68) (p value < 0.001). For hospital mortality, antecedent characteristics outperformed the acute component from a LOS of at least 7 days, comprising 7.8% of patients and accounting for 52.4% of all bed days. ICU LOS predicted 1-year mortality with an AUC of 0.52 (95% CI 0.51-0.53) and hospital mortality with an AUC of 0.54 (95% CI 0.53-0.55) for patients with a LOS of at least 7 days.

Conclusions: Comparing the predictive value of factors influencing 1-year mortality for patients with increasing ICU LOS, antecedent patient characteristics are more predictive than the acute component for patients with an ICU LOS of at least 3 days. For hospital mortality, antecedent patient characteristics outperform the acute component for patients with an ICU LOS of at least 7 days. After the first week of ICU admission, LOS itself is not predictive of hospital nor 1-year mortality.

Keywords: Advance care planning; Critical illness; Intensive care; Long-term outcomes; Mortality; Prognosis.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Area Under Curve
  • Cohort Studies
  • Critical Illness / mortality*
  • Female
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Human Characteristics*
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units / organization & administration
  • Intensive Care Units / statistics & numerical data
  • Length of Stay / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands
  • ROC Curve
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment / methods
  • Risk Assessment / standards*
  • Risk Assessment / statistics & numerical data