Defining and validating chronic diseases

We compared the presence of hypertension in the occupational medical charts against diagnoses obtained from administrative claims data.After adjusting for potential confounders, those with measured blood pressure indicating stage 1 hypertension were 3.69 times more likely to have a claim than normotensives (95% CI: 3.12, 4.38) and those indicating stage 2 hypertension were 7.70 times more likely to have a claim than normotensives (95% CI: 6.36, 9.35).

However, very few of those studies have had the benefit of using actual measured blood pressure as the gold standard.The goal of this study is to assess the validity of claims data in identifying hypertension cases and thereby clarify the benefits and limitations of using those data in studies of chronic disease etiology.Disease status was assigned to 19,150 employees at a U. manufacturing company where regular physical examinations are performed.Instead, research has focused on using self-reported hypertension as a reference standard for assessing the accuracy of claims data and chart review data [].However, the use of self-report data presents significant limitations in any estimates of the sensitivity and specificity of other data sources.

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Lack of medical knowledge, medical terminology as well the tendency for those with hypertension to underreport all contribute to a significant skepticism about self-reported data as a validating data source [].

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