Research Publication Overview

Publication Title

Vocal Biomarker Is Associated With Hospitalization and Mortality Among Heart Failure Patients


Date Published

April 9, 2020


Journal of the American Heart Association


Background The purpose of this article is to evaluate the association of voice signal analysis with adverse outcome among patients with congestive heart failure (CHF). Methods and Results The study cohort included 10 583 patients who were registered to a call center of patients who had chronic conditions including CHF in Israel between 2013 and 2018. A total of 223 acoustic features were extracted from 20 s of speech for each patient. A biomarker was developed based on a training cohort of non‐CHF patients (N=8316). The biomarker was tested on a mutually exclusive CHF study cohort (N=2267) and was evaluated as a continuous and ordinal (4 quartiles) variable. Median age of the CHF study population was 77 (interquartile range 68–83) and 63% were men. During a median follow‐up of 20 months (interquartile range 9–34), 824 (36%) patients died. Kaplan–Meier survival analysis showed higher cumulative probability of death with increasing quartiles (23%, 29%, 38%, and 54%; P<0.001). Survival analysis with adjustment to known predictors of poor survival demonstrated that each SD increase in the biomarker was associated with a significant 32% increased risk of death during follow‐up (95% CI, 1.24–1.41, P<0.001) and that compared with the lowest quartile, patients in the highest quartile were 96% more likely to die (95% CI, 1.59–2.42, P<0.001). The model consistently demonstrated an independent association of the biomarker with hospitalizations during follow‐up (P<0.001). Conclusions Noninvasive vocal biomarker is associated with adverse outcome among CHF patients, suggesting a possible role for voice analysis in telemedicine and CHF patient care.

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