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Positive predictive value of the diagnosis coding for vitamin B12 deficiency anemia in the Danish National Patient Register

Authors Ben Ghezala I, Arendt J, Erichsen R, Zalfani, Gammelager H, Froeslev T, Olsen

Received 17 September 2012

Accepted for publication 26 October 2012

Published 4 December 2012 Volume 2012:4(1) Pages 333—338

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CLEP.S38229

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3


Inès Ben Ghezala, Johan Frederik Berg Arendt, Rune Erichsen, Jihen Zalfani, Henrik Gammelager, Trine Frøslev, Morten Olsen

Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark

Purpose: The aim of this validation study was to assess the positive predictive value (PPV) of the International Classification of Diseases, 10th revision (ICD-10) diagnosis of vitamin B12 (cobalamin [Cbl]) deficiency anemia in the Danish National Patient Register (DNPR).
Patients and methods: We identified all patients above 18 years of age recorded in the DNPR with a diagnosis of Cbl deficiency anemia (ICD-10 code: D51) admitted to two Danish university hospitals and one Danish regional hospital from 2000 through 2009. We assessed the PPV using biochemical parameters on Cbl deficiency with or without anemia as reference standards. These data were obtained from the Laboratory Information Systems Database. Data on prescriptions with Cbl supplementation drugs were obtained from the Aarhus University Prescription Database.
Results: We identified 1089 patients coded with a Cbl deficiency anemia diagnosis in the DNPR. The PPV was 31.5% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 28.8%–34.3%) and 36.8% (95% CI: 34.0%–39.7%) depending on definitions of Cbl deficiency with anemia. When using Cbl deficiency without anemia as a reference standard, the PPV was 51.3% (95% CI: 48.4%–54.3%). The PPV for Cbl supplemented patients was 22.2% (95% CI: 18.0%–26.9%) and for non-Cbl supplemented patients 63.9% (95% CI: 60.5%–67.3%).
Conclusion: The PPVs of the ICD-10 diagnosis coding for Cbl deficiency anemia were generally low in the DNPR. Therefore, this register should be used with caution to study patients with Cbl deficiency anemia.

Keywords: vitamin B12 deficiency anemia, Danish National Patient Register, Laboratory Information Systems Database, International Classification of Diseases, positive predictive value, validation study

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