Introduction Diabetic kidney disease (DKD) accounts for the majority of increased risk of mortality for patients with diabetes, and eventually manifests in approximately half of those patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Although increased screening frequency can avoid delayed diagnoses, this is not uniformly implemented. The purpose of this study was to develop and retrospectively validate a machine learning algorithm (MLA) that predicts stages of DKD within 5 years upon diagnosis of T2DM.
Research design and methods Two MLAs were trained to predict stages of DKD severity, and compared with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) risk score to evaluate performance. The models were validated on a hold-out test set as well as an external dataset sourced from separate facilities.
Results The MLAs outperformed the CDC risk score in both the hold-out test and external datasets. Our algorithms achieved an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) of 0.75 on the hold-out set for prediction of any-stage DKD and an AUROC of over 0.82 for more severe endpoints, compared with the CDC risk score with an AUROC <0.70 on all test sets and endpoints.
Conclusion This retrospective study shows that an MLA can provide timely predictions of DKD among patients with recently diagnosed T2DM.