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British Journal of Medicine and Medical Research, ISSN: 2231-0614,Vol.: 18, Issue.: 5


Complex Changes in Blood Biochemistry Revealed by a Composite Score Derived from Principal Component Analysis: Effects of Age, Patient Acuity, End of Life, Day-of Week, and Potential Insights into the Issues Surrounding the ‘Weekend’ Effect in Hospital Mortality


Rodney P. Jones1*, Graham Sleat2, Oliver Pearce2 and Martin Wetherill2

1Healthcare Analysis and Forecasting, Worcester, UK.

2Milton Keynes University Hospital, Milton Keynes, UK.

Article Information
(1) Rui Yu, Environmental Sciences & Engineering, Gillings School of Global Public Health, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA.
(1) Theocharis Koufakis, General Hospital of Larissa, Larissa, Greece and University of Thessaly, Larissa, Greece.
(2) Paulo Antonio Chiavone, Santa Casa de São Paulo School of Medicine, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
(3) Jesus Duarte, Universidad Siglo XXI, Mexico.
Complete Peer review History: http://www.sciencedomain.org/review-history/16594


Aims: To determine if a score (PCA score derived from Principal Component Analysis), a validated score of frailty and mortality, based on 12 blood biochemistry parameters can shed light on the issue of patient acuity, end of life and weekend mortality in hospitals.

Study Design: The PCA score was calculated from over 280,000 blood tests. Average PCA score was calculated for different patient groups on different days of the week. An accompanying literature review of day-of-week variation in human mental and physical performance, and of studies investigating hospital mortality.

Place and Duration of Study: Retrospective analysis of 280,000 blood test results from 80,000 patients attending the Milton Keynes University Hospital in the interval January 2012 to July 2015.

Participants: Patients at outpatient clinics, the emergency department or as an inpatient who had one or more blood samples comprising the 12 biochemical tests.

Methodology: Average PCA score was calculated for patients in different hospital departments, on different days of the week, in different age groups, and at different times prior to death.

Results: The PCA score for individual’s ranges from -6 to +6, with scores above zero generally associated with higher morbidity and mortality. The average PCA score is lowest in outpatient and A+E settings, varies across wards dedicated to different types of inpatient care, and is highest in ICU. The average PCA score reaches a minimum around age 18, and shows a modest increase with age in those who are not an inpatient. There is a day-of-week variance in the PCA score which is higher at the weekends, and dips to a minimum around Wednesday. The strength of the day-of-week effect varies by age and condition, and occurs in locations where staffing levels remain constant throughout the week.

Conclusions: Variation in human blood biochemistry follows day-of-week patterns and responds to different conditions, age, and the acuity of the condition. These add further weight to the argument that weekend staffing levels, and proposed 7 day working patterns, do not take account of all the factors that contribute to a day-of-week variation in hospital mortality and morbidity.

Keywords :

Weekend mortality; day of week; blood biochemistry; mortality; morbidity; age; principle component analysis; critical care; inpatient care; emergency department.

Full Article - PDF    Page 1-28

DOI : 10.9734/BJMMR/2016/29355

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