Comorbidity pattern analysis for predicting amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Chia-Hui Huang, Bak-Sau Yip, David Taniar, Chi-Shin Hwang, Tun Wen Pai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) can be used to create alerts for clinicians to identify patients at risk and to provide useful information for clinical decision-making support. In this study, we proposed a novel approach for predicting Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) based on comorbidities and associated indicators using EMRs. The medical histories of ALS patients were analyzed and compared with those of subjects without ALS, and the associated comorbidities were selected as features for constructing the machine learning and prediction model. We proposed a novel weighted Jaccard index (WJI) that incorporates four different machine learning techniques to construct prediction systems. Alternative prediction models were constructed based on two different levels of comorbidity: single disease codes and clustered disease codes. With an accuracy of 83.7%, sensitivity of 78.8%, specificity of 85.7%, and area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) value of 0.907 for the single disease code level, the proposed WJI outperformed the traditional Jaccard index (JI) and scoring methods. Incorporating the proposed WJI into EMRs enabled the construction of a prediction system for analyzing the risk of suffering a specific disease based on comorbidity combinatorial patterns, which could provide a fast, low-cost, and noninvasive evaluation approach for early diagnosis of a specific disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1289
Number of pages17
JournalApplied Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2021


  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Disease prediction
  • Electronic Medical Record (EMR)
  • Weighted Jaccard index (WJI)

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