Evaluation of a 3-Item Health Index in Predicting Mortality Risk: A 12-Year Follow-Up Study

Diagnostics (Basel, Switzerland)

Diagnostics (Basel). 2023 Aug 29;13(17):2801. doi: 10.3390/diagnostics13172801.


This study was carried out using a large cohort (N = 4265; 416 deceased) of older, community-dwelling adults from The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA). The study compared the performance of a new 3-item health index (HI) with two existing measures, the 32-item frailty index (FI) and the frailty phenotype (FP), in predicting mortality risk. The HI was based on the objective measurement of resting-state systolic blood pressure sample entropy, sustained attention reaction time performance, and usual gait speed. Mortality data from a 12-year follow up period were analyzed using Cox proportional regression. All data processing was performed using MATLAB and statistical analysis using STATA 15.1. The HI showed good discriminatory power (AUC = 0.68) for all-cause mortality, similar to FI (AUC = 0.68) and superior to FP (AUC = 0.60). The HI classified participants into Low-Risk (84%), Medium-Risk (15%), and High-Risk (1%) groups, with the High-Risk group showing a significant hazard ratio (HR) of 5.91 in the unadjusted model and 2.06 in the fully adjusted model. The HI also exhibited superior predictive performance for cardiovascular and respiratory deaths (AUC = 0.74), compared with FI (AUC = 0.70) and FP (AUC = 0.64). The HI High-Risk group had the highest HR (15.10 in the unadjusted and 5.61 in the fully adjusted models) for cardiovascular and respiratory mortality. The HI remained a significant predictor of mortality even after comprehensively adjusting for confounding variables. These findings demonstrate the effectiveness of the 3-item HI in predicting 12-year mortality risk across different causes of death. The HI performed similarly to FI and FP for all-cause mortality but outperformed them in predicting cardiovascular and respiratory deaths. Its ability to classify individuals into risk groups offers a practical approach for clinicians and researchers. Additionally, the development of a user-friendly MATLAB App facilitates its implementation in clinical settings. Subject to external validation in clinical research settings, the HI can be more useful than existing frailty measures in the prediction of cardio-respiratory risk.

PMID:37685339 | PMC:PMC10487174 | DOI:10.3390/diagnostics13172801