The baseline characteristics of all patients were stratified according to the RDW tertiles. Categorical variables were described as frequencies and percentages, and continuous variables were described using mean, median, and interquartile range values. We used the chi-square test for categorical variables and the Kruskal–Wallis test for continuous variables to compare groups. We used Cox regression to determine whether RDW was independently associated with in-hospital mortality among critically ill patients with AMI, and the results are presented as hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). The lower-level group was considered the reference group. In Model I, covariates were adjusted only for age, sex, and ethnicity. In model II, covariates were adjusted for age, sex, ethnicity, length of stay in the ICU, serum potassium, troponin T, WBC count, systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation (SPO2), congestive heart failure, cardiac arrhythmias, peripheral vascular disease, other neurological diseases, liver disease, renal failure, SOFA, and Simplified Acute Physiology Score II. We generated receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves to measure the sensitivity and specificity of RDW and calculated the area under the curve (AUC) to ascertain the quality of RDW as a predictor of in-hospital mortality in patients with AMI. Moreover, we determined the relationship between RDW and classic scoring systems (SOFA and SAPSII scores). The Kaplan–Meier method (log-rank test) was used to plot the survival curves. Finally, we used a generalized additive model to compare trends in RDW over time among survivors and nonsurvivors, with an adjustment for potential confounders. We computed the delta RDW value as follows: absolute delta RDW= the mean RDW value of the first week - the mean RDW value of the second week.[28]

We conducted stratification analyses to investigate whether the effect of RDW differed across various subgroups, including age, sex, congestive heart failure, pulmonary circulation disease, peripheral vascular disease, cardiac arrhythmias, other neurological diseases, diabetes, hypertension, renal failure, and liver disease.

All data were analyzed using R software (version 3.42) and Empower Stats version 2.17.8 (http://www.empowerstats.com/cn/). Two-tailed probability values<5% were considered statistically significant, and all reported P values were 2-sided.

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