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The American Journal of Managed Care Publishes Results Showing Big Data Analytics Can Predict Individualized Risk of Metabolic Syndrome in Patients
|By Business Wire
|June 27, 2014 09:00 AM EDT
published today in The American Journal of Managed Care
demonstrates that analysis of patient records using state-of-the-art
data analytics can predict future risk of metabolic syndrome. More than
a third of the U.S. population has metabolic syndrome, a condition that
can lead to chronic heart disease, stroke and diabetes. These conditions
combine to account for almost 20 percent of overall health care costs in
the U.S. The study was conducted by Aetna
AET) and GNS
Healthcare Inc. (GNS), a leading provider of big data analytics
products and services in health care.
“This study demonstrates how integration of multiple sources of patient
data can help predict patient-specific medical problems,” said lead
author Dr. Gregory Steinberg, head of clinical innovation at Aetna
Innovation Labs. “We believe the personalized clinical outreach and
engagement strategies, informed by data from this study, can help
improve the health of people with metabolic syndrome and reduce the
“The breakthrough in this study is that we are able to bring to light
hyper-individualized patient predictions, including quantitatively
identifying which individual patients are most at risk, which syndrome
factors are most likely to push that patient past a threshold, and which
interventions will have the greatest impact on that individual,” said
Colin Hill, co-founder and CEO of GNS. “The GNS automated data analytics
platform paired with Aetna’s deep clinical expertise produced these
results on extremely large datasets in just three months, a testament to
the ability of both groups.”
GNS analyzed data from nearly 37,000 members of one of Aetna’s employer
customers who had voluntarily participated in screening for metabolic
syndrome. The data analyzed included medical claims records,
demographics, pharmacy claims, lab tests and biometric screening results
over a two-year period. For this study, the Aetna and GNS teams utilized
two distinct analytical models:
A claims-based-only model to predict the probability of each of the
five metabolic syndrome factors occurring for each study subject.
A second model based on both claims and biometric data to predict
whether each study subject is likely to get worse, improve or stay the
same for each metabolic syndrome factor.
Both analytical models predicted future risk of metabolic syndrome on
both a population and an individual level, with ROC/AUC (receiver
operating characteristic/area under the curve) varying from 0.80 and
0.88. The researchers were able to develop detailed risk profiles for
individual participants, enabling a deep understanding of exactly which
combination of the five metabolic syndrome factors each of the study
subjects exhibit and are at risk for developing. For every Aetna member
whose data was used in the study, the researchers used a scale that
measures the percentage risk that individuals have of exhibiting each of
the five metabolic syndrome factors. For example, in an individual
patient who exhibited two of the five risk factors, researchers could
predict which third factor is the most likely to develop.
The analytical models also helped identify individual variable impact on
risk associated with adherence to prescribed medications, as well as
adherence to routine, scheduled outpatient doctor visits. A scheduled,
outpatient visit with a primary care physician lowers the one-year
probability of having metabolic syndrome in nearly 90 percent of
individuals. In addition, the study found that improving waist
circumference and blood glucose yielded the largest benefits on
patients’ subsequent risk and medical costs.
to access the entire article on The American Journal of
Managed Care website.
About Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors: large waist size, high
blood pressure, high triglycerides, low high-density lipoprotein
(HDL)—or “good”—cholesterol and high blood sugar. Patients who exhibit
three of these five factors are classified as having metabolic syndrome.
Individuals who have metabolic syndrome are twice as likely to have a
heart attack or stroke and are five times as likely to develop diabetes
as those who do not. The rate of metabolic syndrome is on the rise, with
over a third of U.S. adults having the condition. The chronic diseases
that metabolic syndrome can lead to–heart disease, stroke and
diabetes–together cause nearly 800,000 deaths per year in the U.S.,
alone. These diseases cost the health care system more than half a
trillion dollars, or almost 20 percent of the $2.7 trillion the U.S.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cites as the total cost of
national health expenditures. (Sources: American Heart Association and
American Diabetes Association)
About GNS Healthcare
GNS Healthcare is a big data analytics company that empowers payers,
providers and pharmaceutical companies to make intelligent data-driven
decisions. We unlock knowledge within complex data, enabling
personalized, actionable predictions and precision targeting. For 15
years, GNS has been committed to developing and deploying the most
sophisticated mathematical and computational platforms to help our
partners improve health and reduce costs. www.GNSHealthcare.com
Aetna is one of the nation’s leading diversified health care benefits
companies, serving an estimated 44 million people with information and
resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health
care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional, voluntary and
consumer-directed health insurance products and related services,
including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and
disability plans, and medical management capabilities, Medicaid health
care management services, workers’ compensation administrative services
and health information technology products and services. Aetna’s
customers include employer groups, individuals, college students,
part-time and hourly workers, health plans, health care providers,
governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and
expatriates. For more information, see www.Aetna.com
and the 2014
Aetna story about how Aetna is helping to build a healthier world.
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