Predicting complications of diabetes mellitus using advanced machine learning algorithms

Branimir Ljubic, Ameen Abdel Hai, Marija Stanojevic, Wilson Diaz, Daniel Polimac, Martin Pavlovski, Zoran Obradovic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Objective: We sought to predict if patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM2) would develop 10 selected complications. Accurate prediction of complications could help with more targeted measures that would prevent or slow down their development. Materials and Methods: Experiments were conducted on the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project State Inpatient Databases of California for the period of 2003 to 2011. Recurrent neural network (RNN) long short-term memory (LSTM) and RNN gated recurrent unit (GRU) deep learning methods were designed and compared with random forest and multilayer perceptron traditional models. Prediction accuracy of selected complications were compared on 3 settings corresponding to minimum number of hospitalizations between diabetes diagnosis and the diagnosis of complications. Results: The diagnosis domain was used for experiments. The best results were achieved with RNN GRU model, followed by RNN LSTM model. The prediction accuracy achieved with RNN GRU model was between 73% (myocardial infarction) and 83% (chronic ischemic heart disease), while accuracy of traditional models was between 66% – 76%. Discussion: The number of hospitalizations was an important factor for the prediction accuracy. Experiments with 4 hospitalizations achieved significantly better accuracy than with 2 hospitalizations. To achieve improved accuracy deep learning models required training on at least 1000 patients and accuracy significantly dropped if training datasets contained 500 patients. The prediction accuracy of complications decreases over time period. Considering individual complications, the best accuracy was achieved on depressive disorder and chronic ischemic heart disease. Conclusions: The RNN GRU model was the best choice for electronic medical record type of data, based on the achieved results.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1343-1351
Number of pages9
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2022-06-07
Acknowledgements: This research was supported in part by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology Center Partnership Fund and Pennsylvania Department of Health CURE Health Data Science Research Project.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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