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Published online: 2024-06-04

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Phenotype clustering of hospitalized high-risk patients with COVID-19 — a machine learning approach within the multicentre, multinational PCHF-COVICAV registry

Pubmed: 38832553


Imtroduction: The high-risk population of patients with cardiovascular (CV) disease or risk factors (RF) suffering from COVID-19 is heterogeneous. Several predictors for impaired prognosis have been identified. However, with machine learning (ML) approaches, certain phenotypes may be confined to classify the affected population and to predict outcome. This study aimed to phenotype patients using unsupervised ML technique within the International Postgraduate Course Heart Failure Registry for patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and Cardiovascular disease and/or RF (PCHF-COVICAV).

Material and methods: Patients from the eight centres with follow-up data available from the PCHF-COVICAV registry were included in this ML analysis (K-medoids algorithm).

Results: Out of 617 patients included into the prospective part of the registry, 458 [median age: 76 (IQR:65–84) years, 55% male] were analyzed and 46 baseline variables, including demographics, clinical status, comorbidities and biochemical characteristics were incorporated into the ML. Three clusters were extracted by this ML method. Cluster 1 (n = 181) represents mainly women with the least number of overall comorbidities and cardiovascular RF. Cluster 2 (n = 227) is characterized mainly by men with non-CV conditions and less severe symptoms of infection. Cluster 3 (n=50) mainly represents men with the highest prevalence of cardiac comorbidities and RF, more extensive inflammation and organ dysfunction with the highest 6-month all-cause mortality risk.

Conclusions: The ML process has identified three important clinical clusters from hospitalized COVID-19 CV and/or RF patients. The cluster of males with severe CV disease, particularly HF, and multiple RF presenting with increased inflammation had a particularly poor outcome.

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