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Machine Learning Approaches to Identify Patient Comorbidities and Symptoms That Increased Risk of Mortality in COVID-19.

  • Aktar, Sakifa1
  • Talukder, Ashis2
  • Ahamad, Md Martuza1
  • Kamal, A H M3
  • Khan, Jahidur Rahman4
  • Protikuzzaman, Md1
  • Hossain, Nasif5
  • Azad, A K M6
  • Quinn, Julian M W7
  • Summers, Mathew A7, 8
  • Liaw, Teng9
  • Eapen, Valsamma10
  • Moni, Mohammad Ali7, 9, 10, 11
  • 1 Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Science and Technology University, Gopalganj 8100, Bangladesh. , (Bangladesh)
  • 2 Statistics Discipline, Khulna University, Khulna 9208, Bangladesh. , (Bangladesh)
  • 3 Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Jatiya Kabi Kazi Nazrul Islam University, Trishal, Mymensingh 2220, Bangladesh. , (Bangladesh)
  • 4 Health Research Institute, University of Canberra, Canberra, ACT 2617, Australia. , (Australia)
  • 5 School of Tropical Medicine and Global Health, Nagasaki University, Nagasaki 852-8523, Japan. , (Japan)
  • 6 Faculty of Science, Engineering & Technology, Swinburne University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, VIC 2150, Australia. , (Australia)
  • 7 The Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Healthy Ageing Theme, Darlinghurst, NSW 2010, Australia. , (Australia)
  • 8 St Vincent's Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2010, Australia. , (Australia)
  • 9 School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia. , (Australia)
  • 10 World Health Organization (WHO) Centre on eHealth, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia. , (Australia)
  • 11 School of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia. , (Australia)
Published Article
Publication Date
Jul 31, 2021
DOI: 10.3390/diagnostics11081383
PMID: 34441317


Providing appropriate care for people suffering from COVID-19, the disease caused by the pandemic SARS-CoV-2 virus, is a significant global challenge. Many individuals who become infected may have pre-existing conditions that may interact with COVID-19 to increase symptom severity and mortality risk. COVID-19 patient comorbidities are likely to be informative regarding the individual risk of severe illness and mortality. Determining the degree to which comorbidities are associated with severe symptoms and mortality would thus greatly assist in COVID-19 care planning and provision. To assess this we performed a meta-analysis of published global literature, and machine learning predictive analysis using an aggregated COVID-19 global dataset. Our meta-analysis suggested that chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cerebrovascular disease (CEVD), cardiovascular disease (CVD), type 2 diabetes, malignancy, and hypertension as most significantly associated with COVID-19 severity in the current published literature. Machine learning classification using novel aggregated cohort data similarly found COPD, CVD, CKD, type 2 diabetes, malignancy, and hypertension, as well as asthma, as the most significant features for classifying those deceased versus those who survived COVID-19. While age and gender were the most significant predictors of mortality, in terms of symptom-comorbidity combinations, it was observed that Pneumonia-Hypertension, Pneumonia-Diabetes, and Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS)-Hypertension showed the most significant associations with COVID-19 mortality. These results highlight the patient cohorts most likely to be at risk of COVID-19-related severe morbidity and mortality, which have implications for prioritization of hospital resources.

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