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Surveillance of ischemic heart disease should include physician billing claims: population-based evidence from administrative health data across seven Canadian provinces

Robitaille C, Bancej C, Dai S, Tu K, Rasali D, Blais C, Plante C, Smith M, Svenson LW, Reimer K, Casey J, Puchtinger R, Johansen H, Gurevich Y, Waters C, Lix LM, Quan H. BMC Cardiovasc Dis. 2013; 13(1):88. Epub 2013 Oct 20.


Background — Canadian provinces and territories routinely collect health information for administrative purposes. This study used Canadian medical and hospital administrative data for population-based surveillance of diagnosed ischemic heart disease (IHD).

Methods — Hospital discharge abstracts and physician billing claims data from seven provinces were analyzed to estimate prevalence and incidence of IHD using three validated algorithms: a) one hospital discharge abstract with any IHD diagnosis or procedure code (1H); b) 1H or at least three physician claims within a one-year period (1H3P) and c) 1H or at least two physician claims within a one-year period (1H2P). Crude and age-standardized prevalence and incidence rates were calculated for Canadian adults aged 20 +.

Results — IHD prevalence and incidence varied by province, were consistently higher among males than females, and increased with age. Prevalence and incidence were lower using the 1H method compared to using the 1H2P or 1H3P methods in all provinces studied for all age groups. For instance, in 2006/07, crude prevalence by province ranged from 3.4%-5.5% (1H), from 4.9%-7.7% (1H3P) and from 6.0%-9.2% (1H2P). Similarly, crude incidence by province ranged from 3.7-5.9 per 1,000 (1H), from 5.0-6.9 per 1,000 (1H3P) and from 6.1-7.9 per 1,000 (1H2P).

Conclusions — Study findings show that incidence and prevalence of diagnosed IHD will be underestimated by as much as 50% using inpatient data alone. The addition of physician claims data are needed to better assess the burden of IHD in Canada.

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Keywords: Data evaluation Cardiovascular diseases

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