Validation of the WATCH-DM and TRS-HFDM Risk Scores to Predict the Risk of Incident Hospitalization for Heart Failure Among Adults With Type 2 Diabetes: A Multicohort Analysis

Matthew W. Segar, Kershaw V. Patel, Anne S. Hellkamp, Muthiah Vaduganathan, Yuliya Lokhnygina, Jennifer B. Green, Siu Hin Wan, Ahmed A. Kolkailah, Rury R. Holman, Eric D Peterson, Vaishnavi Kannan, Duwayne L. Willett, Darren K. McGuire, Ambarish Pandey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: The WATCH-DM (weight [body mass index], age, hypertension, creatinine, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, diabetes control [fasting plasma glucose], ECG QRS duration, myocardial infarction, and coronary artery bypass grafting) and TRS-HFDM (Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction [TIMI] risk score for heart failure in diabetes) risk scores were developed to predict risk of heart failure (HF) among individuals with type 2 diabetes. WATCH-DM was developed to predict incident HF, whereas TRS-HFDM predicts HF hospitalization among patients with and without a prior HF history. We evaluated the model performance of both scores to predict incident HF events among patients with type 2 diabetes and no history of HF hospitalization across different cohorts and clinical settings with varying baseline risk. METHODS AND RESULTS: Incident HF risk was estimated by the integer-based WATCH-DM and TRS-HFDM scores in participants with type 2 diabetes free of baseline HF from 2 randomized clinical trials (TECOS [Trial Evaluating Cardiovascular Outcomes With Sitagliptin], N=12 028; and Look AHEAD [Look Action for Health in Diabetes] trial, N=4867). The integer-based WATCH-DM score was also validated in electronic health record data from a single large health care system (N=7475). Model discrimination was assessed by the Harrell concordance index and calibration by the Greenwood-Nam-D’Agostino statistic. HF incidence rate was 7.5, 3.9, and 4.1 per 1000 person-years in the TECOS, Look AHEAD trial, and electronic health record cohorts, respectively. Integer-based WATCH-DM and TRS-HFDM scores had similar discrimination and calibration for predicting 5-year HF risk in the Look AHEAD trial cohort (concordance indexes=0.70; Greenwood-Nam-D’Agostino P>0.30 for both). Both scores had lower discrimination and underpredicted HF risk in the TECOS cohort (concordance indexes=0.65 and 0.66, respectively; Greenwood-Nam-D’Agostino P<0.001 for both). In the electronic health record cohort, the integerbased WATCH-DM score demonstrated a concordance index of 0.73 with adequate calibration (Greenwood-Nam-D’Agostino P=0.96). TRS-HFDM score could not be validated in the electronic health record because of unavailability of data on urine albumin/creatinine ratio in most patients in the contemporary clinical practice. CONCLUSIONS: The WATCH-DM and TRS-HFDM risk scores can discriminate risk of HF among intermediate-risk populations with type 2 diabetes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere024094
JournalJournal of the American Heart Association
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 7 2022


  • diabetes
  • heart failure
  • risk prediction
  • risk score

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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