Machine Learning Principles Can Improve Hip Fracture Prediction

Christian Kruse, Pia Eiken, Peter Vestergaard

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50 Citations (Scopus)


Apply machine learning principles to predict hip fractures and estimate predictor importance in Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA)-scanned men and women. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry data from two Danish regions between 1996 and 2006 were combined with national Danish patient data to comprise 4722 women and 717 men with 5 years of follow-up time (original cohort n = 6606 men and women). Twenty-four statistical models were built on 75% of data points through k-5, 5-repeat cross-validation, and then validated on the remaining 25% of data points to calculate area under the curve (AUC) and calibrate probability estimates. The best models were retrained with restricted predictor subsets to estimate the best subsets. For women, bootstrap aggregated flexible discriminant analysis ("bagFDA") performed best with a test AUC of 0.92 [0.89; 0.94] and well-calibrated probabilities following Naïve Bayes adjustments. A "bagFDA" model limited to 11 predictors (among them bone mineral densities (BMD), biochemical glucose measurements, general practitioner and dentist use) achieved a test AUC of 0.91 [0.88; 0.93]. For men, eXtreme Gradient Boosting ("xgbTree") performed best with a test AUC of 0.89 [0.82; 0.95], but with poor calibration in higher probabilities. A ten predictor subset (BMD, biochemical cholesterol and liver function tests, penicillin use and osteoarthritis diagnoses) achieved a test AUC of 0.86 [0.78; 0.94] using an "xgbTree" model. Machine learning can improve hip fracture prediction beyond logistic regression using ensemble models. Compiling data from international cohorts of longer follow-up and performing similar machine learning procedures has the potential to further improve discrimination and calibration.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCalcified Tissue International
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)348-360
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Journal Article


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