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How well can familial hypercholesterolemia be identified in an electronic health record database?

Authors Mues KE, Bogdanov AN, Monda KL, Yedigarova L, Liede A, Kallenbach L

Received 11 June 2018

Accepted for publication 14 September 2018

Published 15 November 2018 Volume 2018:10 Pages 1667—1677


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Vera Ehrenstein

Katherine E Mues,1 Alina N Bogdanov,2 Keri L Monda,1 Larisa Yedigarova,3 Alexander Liede,1 Lee Kallenbach2

1Center for Observational Research, Amgen Inc., Thousand Oaks, CA, USA; 2Practice Fusion, San Francisco, CA, USA; 3US Medical Affairs, Amgen Inc., Thousand Oaks, CA, USA

Background: Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) is a condition characterized by high cholesterol levels and increased risk for coronary heart disease (CHD) that often goes undiagnosed. The Dutch Lipid Network Criteria (DLNC) are used to identify FH in clinical settings via physical examination, personal and family history of CHD, in addition to the presence of deleterious mutations of the LDLR, ApoB, and PCSK9 genes. Agreement between clinical and genetic diagnosis of FH varies. While an ICD diagnosis code was not available for coding FH until 2016, Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine (SNOMED) clinical concept codes, including genetic diagnoses, for FH have been utilized in electronic health records (EHRs).
Objective: To evaluate the concordance of identifying FH via SNOMED and ICD-10 CM codes vs the DLNC in an EHR database.
Methods: Using the Practice Fusion EHR database, the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive value were calculated comparing an FH cohort identified via SNOMED and ICD-10 CM codes to one identified via the DLNC.
Among 907,616 patients with hypercholesterolemia, 2,180 were identified as FH via SNOMED code (zero were identified via ICD-10 CM), 259 had a DLNC score 6–8 (probable FH), and 45 had a DLNC score >8 (definite FH). Compared to DLNC score >8, the sensitivity, specificity, and PPV of the FH SNOMED code were 84.4%, 99.4%, and 6.4%, respectively. Compared to DLNC score ≥6, the sensitivity was 36.8% and the specificity was 99.5% with a PPV of 18.7%.
Conclusion: Compared to the clinical criteria for FH, identification of FH patients via SNOMED diagnosis codes had high sensitivity and specificity, but low PPV. The discordance of these two techniques in identifying FH patients speaks to the challenges in identifying FH patients in large electronic databases such as administrative claims and EHR.

Keywords: familial hypercholesterolemia, Dutch Lipid Network Criteria, electronic health record, SNOMED

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