Development of a risk score to identify patients at high risk for a severe course of COVID-19

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review


  • Josephine Jacob - , Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin (First author)
  • Falko Tesch - , Center for Evidence-Based Healthcare (Author)
  • Danny Wende - , BARMER Institut für Gesundheitssystemforschung (bifg) (Author)
  • Manuel Batram - , Vandage GmbH (Author)
  • Friedrich Loser - , Techniker Krankenkasse (Author)
  • Oliver Weidinger - , AOK Bayern (Author)
  • Martin Roessler - , Center for Evidence-Based Healthcare (Author)
  • Martin Seifert - , Center for Evidence-Based Healthcare (Author)
  • Lisa Risch - , Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin (Author)
  • Oliver Nagel - , Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin (Author)
  • Christina König - , Techniker Krankenkasse (Author)
  • Roland Jucknewitz - , AOK Bayern (Author)
  • Marina Treskova-Schwarzbach - , Robert Koch-Institut (Author)
  • Dagmar Hertle - , BARMER Institut für Gesundheitssystemforschung (bifg) (Author)
  • Stefan Scholz - , Robert Koch-Institut (Author)
  • Stefan Stern - , AOK Bayern (Author)
  • Pedro Ballesteros - , BARMER Institut für Gesundheitssystemforschung (bifg) (Author)
  • Stefan Baßler - , AOK PLUS (Author)
  • Barbara Bertele - , Techniker Krankenkasse (Author)
  • Uwe Repschläger - , BARMER Institut für Gesundheitssystemforschung (bifg) (Author)
  • Nico Richter - , DAK-Gesundheit (Author)
  • Cordula Riederer - , DAK-Gesundheit (Author)
  • Franziska Sobik - , DAK-Gesundheit (Author)
  • Anja Schramm - , AOK Bayern (Author)
  • Claudia Schulte - , BARMER Institut für Gesundheitssystemforschung (bifg) (Author)
  • Jochen Walker - , Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin (Author)
  • Jochen Schmitt - , Center for Evidence-Based Healthcare (Last author)


AIM: We aimed to develop a risk score to calculate a person's individual risk for a severe COVID-19 course (POINTED score) to support prioritization of especially vulnerable patients for a (booster) vaccination.

SUBJECT AND METHODS: This cohort study was based on German claims data and included 623,363 individuals with a COVID-19 diagnosis in 2020. The outcome was COVID-19 related treatment in an intensive care unit, mechanical ventilation, or death after a COVID-19 infection. Data were split into a training and a test sample. Poisson regression models with robust standard errors including 35 predefined risk factors were calculated. Coefficients were rescaled with a min-max normalization to derive numeric score values between 0 and 20 for each risk factor. The scores' discriminatory ability was evaluated by calculating the area under the curve (AUC).

RESULTS: Besides age, down syndrome and hematologic cancer with therapy, immunosuppressive therapy, and other neurological conditions were the risk factors with the highest risk for a severe COVID-19 course. The AUC of the POINTED score was 0.889, indicating very good predictive validity.

CONCLUSION: The POINTED score is a valid tool to calculate a person's risk for a severe COVID-19 course.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s10389-023-01884-7.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
Journal Journal of public health : from theory to practice
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Mar 2023

External IDs

PubMedCentral PMC10032626
Scopus 85150499345


Sustainable Development Goals