Identification of risk factors for patients with diabetes: diabetic polyneuropathy case study
BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making
Methods of data mining and analytics can be efficiently applied in medicine to develop models that use patient-specific data to predict the development of diabetic polyneuropathy. However, there is room for improvement in the accuracy of predictive models. Existing studies of diabetes polyneuropathy considered a limited number of predictors in one study to enable a comparison of efficiency of different machine learning methods with different predictors to find the most efficient one. The
... of this study is the implementation of machine learning methods for identifying the risk of diabetes polyneuropathy based on structured electronic medical records collected in databases of medical information systems. For the purposes of our study, we developed a structured procedure for predictive modelling, which includes data extraction and preprocessing, model adjustment and performance assessment, selection of the best models and interpretation of results. The dataset contained a total number of 238,590 laboratory records. Each record 27 laboratory tests, age, gender and presence of retinopathy or nephropathy). The records included information about 5846 patients with diabetes. Diagnosis served as a source of information about the target class values for classification. It was discovered that inclusion of two expressions, namely "nephropathy" and "retinopathy" allows to increase the performance, achieving up to 79.82% precision, 81.52% recall, 80.64% F1 score, 82.61% accuracy, and 89.88% AUC using the neural network classifier. Additionally, different models showed different results in terms of interpretation significance: random forest confirmed that the most important risk factor for polyneuropathy is the increased neutrophil level, meaning the presence of inflammation in the body. Linear models showed linear dependencies of the presence of polyneuropathy on blood glucose levels, which is confirmed by the clinical interpretation of the importance of blood glucose control. Depending on whether one needs to identify pathophysiological mechanisms for one's prospective study or identify early or late predictors, the choice of model will vary. In comparison with the previous studies, our research makes a comprehensive comparison of different decisions using a large and well-structured dataset applied to different decision support tasks.