Optimal strategy to identify incidence of diagnostic of diabetes using administrative data

PRIMUS Group, Centre de recherche clinique Etienne-Le Bel, CHUS, Sherbrooke (QC), Canada.
BMC Medical Research Methodology (Impact Factor: 2.27). 09/2009; 9(1):62. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2288-9-62
Source: PubMed


Accurate estimates of incidence and prevalence of the disease is a vital step toward appropriate interventions for chronic disease like diabetes. A growing body of scientific literature is now available on producing accurate information from administrative data. Advantages of use of administrative data to determine disease incidence include feasibility, accessibility and low cost, but straightforward use of administrative data can produce biased information on incident cases of chronic disease like diabetes. The present study aimed to compare criteria for the selection of diabetes incident cases in a medical administrative database.
An exhaustive retrospective cohort of diabetes cases was constructed for 2002 using the Canadian National Diabetes Surveillance System case definition (one hospitalization or two physician claims with a diagnosis of diabetes over a 2-year period) with the Quebec health service database. To identify previous occurrence of diabetes in the database, a five-year observation period was evaluated using retrograde survival function and kappa agreement. The use of NDSS case definition to identify incident cases was compared to a single occurrence of an ICD-9 code 250 in the records using the McNemar test.
Retrograde survival function showed that the probability of being a true incident case after a 5-year diabetes-free observation period was almost constant and near 0.14. Agreement between 10 years (maximum period) and 5 years and more diabetes-free observation periods were excellent (kappa > 0.9). Respectively 41,261 and 37,473 incident cases were identified using a 5-year diabetes-free observation period with NDSS definition and using a single ICD-9 code 250.
A 5-year diabetes-free observation period was a conservative time to identify incident cases in an administrative database using one ICD-9 code 250 record.

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