Prediction model for in-hospital mortality in patients at high altitudes with ARDS due to COVID-19

David Rene Rodriguez Lima, Cristhian Rubio Ramos, Andrés Felipe Yepes Velasco, Leonardo Andrés Gómez Cortes, Darío Isaías Pinilla Rojas, Ángela María Pinzón Rondón, Ángela María Ruíz Sternberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


INTRODUCTION: The diagnosis of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) includes the ratio of pressure arterial oxygen and inspired oxygen fraction (P/F) ≤ 300, which is often adjusted in locations more than 1,000 meters above sea level (masl) due to hypobaric hypoxemia. The main objective of this study was to develop a prediction model for in-hospital mortality among patients with ARDS due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) (C-ARDS) at 2,600 masl with easily available variables at patient admission and to compare its discrimination capacity with a second model using the P/F adjusted for this high altitude.

METHODS: This study was an analysis of data from patients with C-ARDS treated between March 2020 and July 2021 in a university hospital located in the city of Bogotá, Colombia, at 2,600 masl. Demographic and laboratory data were extracted from electronic records. For the prediction model, univariate analyses were performed to screen variables with p <0.25. Then, these variables were automatically selected with a backward stepwise approach with a significance level of 0.1. The interaction terms and fractional polynomials were also examined in the final model. Multiple imputation procedures and bootstraps were used to obtain the coefficients with the best external validation. In addition, total adjustment of the model and logistic regression diagnostics were performed. The same methodology was used to develop a second model with the P/F adjusted for altitude. Finally, the areas under the curve (AUCs) of the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves of the two models were compared.

RESULTS: A total of 2,210 subjects were included in the final analysis. The final model included 11 variables without interaction terms or nonlinear functions. The coefficients are presented excluding influential observations. The final equation for the model fit was g(x) = age(0.04819)+weight(0.00653)+height(-0.01856)+haemoglobin(-0.0916)+platelet count(-0.003614)+ creatinine(0.0958)+lactate dehydrogenase(0.001589)+sodium(-0.02298)+potassium(0.1574)+systolic pressure(-0.00308)+if moderate ARDS(0.628)+if severe ARDS(1.379), and the probability of in-hospital death was p (x) = e g (x)/(1+ e g (x)). The AUC of the ROC curve was 0.7601 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.74-0, 78). The second model with the adjusted P/F presented an AUC of 0.754 (95% CI 0.73-0.77). No statistically significant difference was found between the AUC curves (p value = 0.6795).

CONCLUSION: This study presents a prediction model for patients with C-ARDS at 2,600 masl with easily available admission variables for early stratification of in-hospital mortality risk. Adjusting the P/F for 2,600 masl did not improve the predictive capacity of the model. We do not recommend adjusting the P/F for altitude.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e0293476
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2023


  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Altitude
  • COVID-19/complications
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome
  • ROC Curve
  • Oxygen
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies


Dive into the research topics of 'Prediction model for in-hospital mortality in patients at high altitudes with ARDS due to COVID-19'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this