Existing data sources for clinical epidemiology: The North Denmark Bacteremia Research Database
Henrik C Schønheyder1, Mette Søgaard1,2
1Department of Clinical Microbiology, Aalborg Hospital, Aarhus University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark; 2Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark
Abstract: Bacteremia is associated with high morbidity and mortality. Improving prevention and treatment requires better knowledge of the disease and its prognosis. However, in order to study the entire spectrum of bacteremia patients, we need valid sources of information, prospective data collection, and complete follow-up. In North Denmark Region, all patients diagnosed with bacteremia have been registered in a population-based database since 1981. The information has been recorded prospectively since 1992 and the main variables are: the patient’s unique civil registration number, date of sampling the first positive blood culture, date of admission, clinical department, date of notification of growth, place of acquisition, focus of infection, microbiological species, antibiogram, and empirical antimicrobial treatment. During the time from 1981 to 2008, information on 22,556 cases of bacteremia has been recorded. The civil registration number makes it possible to link the database to other medical databases and thereby build large cohorts with detailed longitudinal data that include hospital histories since 1977, comorbidity data, and complete follow-up of survival. The database is suited for epidemiological research and, presently, approximately 60 studies have been published. Other Danish departments of clinical microbiology have recently started to record the same information and a population base of 2.3 million will be available for future studies.
Keywords: bloodstream infection, epidemiology, register, population-based
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