Category: snippets

Calculate the Charlson Score in R

It is unlikely that anyone else will have data formatted in the same way as me, but it shouldn’t be too hard to convert this.

You just need a data where the rows represent patients, and there are a series of columns containing indicator variables for the components of the Charlson score[1].

The following function looks for these 20 variables, and uses a quick bit of matrix multiplication to generate the total score.

For reference, here is the table from the original paper containing the weights for the score.

Charlson Score

[1]: Charlson ME, Pompei P, Ales KL, MacKenzie CR. A new method of classifying prognostic comorbidity in longitudinal studies: development and validation. Journal of Chronic Diseases. 1987;40:373-383.

Bootstrap at the cluster or the unit level

I have been using the bootstrap more often recently, but the data that I use is typically structured with patients nested in hospitals. The wonderful Cross Validated recommends that any sampling that is to be done should respect the structure of the data.

This means first sampling (with replacement) hospitals, and then sampling (with replacement again) within each hospital before re-assembling the data.

There is a better explanation along with a code snippet from the biostats department at Vanderbilt. However, with 48 hospitals and 15,000 patients, this ran very slowly.

I have re-written this using the data.table with a good (great?) improvement in speed (but some loss of flexibility).