Importance: Randomized clinical trials have demonstrated that patients with asymptomatic carotid stenosis are eligible for carotid endarterectomy (CEA) if the 30-day surgical complication rate is less than 3% and the patient's life expectancy is at least 5 years. Objective: To develop a risk prediction tool to improve patient selection for CEA among patients with asymptomatic carotid stenosis. Design, Setting, and Participants: In this cohort study, veterans 65 years and older who received both carotid imaging and CEA in the Veterans Administration between January 1, 2005, and December 31, 2009 (n = 2325) were followed up for 5 years. Data were analyzed from January 2005 to December 2015. A risk prediction tool (the Carotid Mortality Index [CMI]) based on 23 candidate variables identified in the literature was developed using Veterans Administration and Medicare data. A simpler model based on the number of 4 key comorbidities that were prevalent and strongly associated with 5-year mortality was also developed (any cancer in the past 5 years, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure, and chronic kidney disease [the 4C model]). Model performance was assessed using measures of discrimination (eg, area under the curve [AUC]) and calibration. Internal validation was performed by correcting for optimism using 500 bootstrapped samples. Main Outcome and Measure: Five-year mortality. Results: Among 2325 veterans, the mean (SD) age was 73.74 (5.92) years. The cohort was predominantly male (98.8%) and of white race/ethnicity (94.4%). Overall, 29.5% (n = 687) of patients died within 5 years of CEA. On the basis of a backward selection algorithm, 9 patient characteristics were selected (age, chronic kidney disease, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, any cancer diagnosis in the past 5 years, congestive heart failure, atrial fibrillation, remote stroke or transient ischemic attack, and body mass index) for the final logistic model, which yielded an optimism-corrected AUC of 0.687 for the CMI. The 4C model had slightly worse discrimination (AUC, 0.657) compared with the CMI model; however, the calibration curve was similar to the full model in most of the range of predicted probabilities. Conclusions and Relevance: According to results of this study, use of the CMI or the simpler 4C model may improve patient selection for CEA among patients with asymptomatic carotid stenosis.
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