The use of machine learning for the identification of peripheral artery disease and future mortality risk

Elsie Gyang Ross, Nigam H. Shah, Ronald L. Dalman, Kevin T. Nead, John P. Cooke, Nicholas J. Leeper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


Objective A key aspect of the precision medicine effort is the development of informatics tools that can analyze and interpret “big data” sets in an automated and adaptive fashion while providing accurate and actionable clinical information. The aims of this study were to develop machine learning algorithms for the identification of disease and the prognostication of mortality risk and to determine whether such models perform better than classical statistical analyses. Methods Focusing on peripheral artery disease (PAD), patient data were derived from a prospective, observational study of 1755 patients who presented for elective coronary angiography. We employed multiple supervised machine learning algorithms and used diverse clinical, demographic, imaging, and genomic information in a hypothesis-free manner to build models that could identify patients with PAD and predict future mortality. Comparison was made to standard stepwise linear regression models. Results Our machine-learned models outperformed stepwise logistic regression models both for the identification of patients with PAD (area under the curve, 0.87 vs 0.76, respectively; P =.03) and for the prediction of future mortality (area under the curve, 0.76 vs 0.65, respectively; P =.10). Both machine-learned models were markedly better calibrated than the stepwise logistic regression models, thus providing more accurate disease and mortality risk estimates. Conclusions Machine learning approaches can produce more accurate disease classification and prediction models. These tools may prove clinically useful for the automated identification of patients with highly morbid diseases for which aggressive risk factor management can improve outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1515-1522.e3
JournalJournal of Vascular Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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