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      Temporal trends and patterns in heart failure incidence: a population-based study of 4 million individuals

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          Large-scale and contemporary population-based studies of heart failure incidence are needed to inform resource planning and research prioritisation but current evidence is scarce. We aimed to assess temporal trends in incidence and prevalence of heart failure in a large general population cohort from the UK, between 2002 and 2014.


          For this population-based study, we used linked primary and secondary electronic health records of 4 million individuals from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD), a cohort that is representative of the UK population in terms of age and sex. Eligible patients were aged 16 years and older, had contributed data between Jan 1, 2002, and Dec 31, 2014, had an acceptable record according to CPRD quality control, were approved for CPRD and Hospital Episodes Statistics linkage, and were registered with their general practice for at least 12 months. For patients with incident heart failure, we extracted the most recent measurement of baseline characteristics (within 2 years of diagnosis) from electronic health records, as well as information about comorbidities, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, and region. We calculated standardised rates by applying direct age and sex standardisation to the 2013 European Standard Population, and we inferred crude rates by applying year-specific, age-specific, and sex-specific incidence to UK census mid-year population estimates. We assumed no heart failure for patients aged 15 years or younger and report total incidence and prevalence for all ages (>0 years).


          From 2002 to 2014, heart failure incidence (standardised by age and sex) decreased, similarly for men and women, by 7% (from 358 to 332 per 100 000 person-years; adjusted incidence ratio 0·93, 95% CI 0·91–0·94). However, the estimated absolute number of individuals with newly diagnosed heart failure in the UK increased by 12% (from 170 727 in 2002 to 190 798 in 2014), largely due to an increase in population size and age. The estimated absolute number of prevalent heart failure cases in the UK increased even more, by 23% (from 750 127 to 920 616). Over the study period, patient age and multi-morbidity at first presentation of heart failure increased (mean age 76·5 years [SD 12·0] to 77·0 years [12·9], adjusted difference 0·79 years, 95% CI 0·37–1·20; mean number of comorbidities 3·4 [SD 1·9] vs 5·4 [2·5]; adjusted difference 2·0, 95% CI 1·9–2·1). Socioeconomically deprived individuals were more likely to develop heart failure than were affluent individuals (incidence rate ratio 1·61, 95% CI 1·58–1·64), and did so earlier in life than those from the most affluent group (adjusted difference −3·51 years, 95% CI −3·77 to −3·25). From 2002 to 2014, the socioeconomic gradient in age at first presentation with heart failure widened. Socioeconomically deprived individuals also had more comorbidities, despite their younger age.


          Despite a moderate decline in standardised incidence of heart failure, the burden of heart failure in the UK is increasing, and is now similar to the four most common causes of cancer combined. The observed socioeconomic disparities in disease incidence and age at onset within the same nation point to a potentially preventable nature of heart failure that still needs to be tackled.


          British Heart Foundation and National Institute for Health Research.

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          Data Resource Profile: Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD)

          The Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) is an ongoing primary care database of anonymised medical records from general practitioners, with coverage of over 11.3 million patients from 674 practices in the UK. With 4.4 million active (alive, currently registered) patients meeting quality criteria, approximately 6.9% of the UK population are included and patients are broadly representative of the UK general population in terms of age, sex and ethnicity. General practitioners are the gatekeepers of primary care and specialist referrals in the UK. The CPRD primary care database is therefore a rich source of health data for research, including data on demographics, symptoms, tests, diagnoses, therapies, health-related behaviours and referrals to secondary care. For over half of patients, linkage with datasets from secondary care, disease-specific cohorts and mortality records enhance the range of data available for research. The CPRD is very widely used internationally for epidemiological research and has been used to produce over 1000 research studies, published in peer-reviewed journals across a broad range of health outcomes. However, researchers must be aware of the complexity of routinely collected electronic health records, including ways to manage variable completeness, misclassification and development of disease definitions for research.
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            Validation and validity of diagnoses in the General Practice Research Database: a systematic review

            AIMS To investigate the range of methods used to validate diagnoses in the General Practice Research Database (GPRD), to summarize findings and to assess the quality of these validations. METHODS A systematic literature review was performed by searching PubMed and Embase for publications using GPRD data published between 1987 and April 2008. Additional publications were identified from conference proceedings, back issues of relevant journals, bibliographies of retrieved publications and relevant websites. Publications that reported attempts to validate disease diagnoses recorded in the GPRD were included. RESULTS We identified 212 publications, often validating more than one diagnosis. In total, 357 validations investigating 183 different diagnoses met our inclusion criteria. Of these, 303 (85%) utilized data from outside the GPRD to validate diagnoses. The remainder utilized only data recorded in the database. The median proportion of cases with a confirmed diagnosis was 89% (range 24–100%). Details of validation methods and results were often incomplete. CONCLUSIONS A number of methods have been used to assess validity. Overall, estimates of validity were high. However, the quality of reporting of the validations was often inadequate to permit a clear interpretation. Not all methods provided a quantitative estimate of validity and most methods considered only the positive predictive value of a set of diagnostic codes in a highly selected group of cases. We make recommendations for methodology and reporting to strengthen further the use of the GPRD in research.
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              Epidemiology and risk profile of heart failure.

              Heart failure (HF) is a major public health issue, with a prevalence of over 5.8 million in the USA, and over 23 million worldwide, and rising. The lifetime risk of developing HF is one in five. Although promising evidence shows that the age-adjusted incidence of HF may have plateaued, HF still carries substantial morbidity and mortality, with 5-year mortality that rival those of many cancers. HF represents a considerable burden to the health-care system, responsible for costs of more than $39 billion annually in the USA alone, and high rates of hospitalizations, readmissions, and outpatient visits. HF is not a single entity, but a clinical syndrome that may have different characteristics depending on age, sex, race or ethnicity, left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) status, and HF etiology. Furthermore, pathophysiological differences are observed among patients diagnosed with HF and reduced LVEF compared with HF and preserved LVEF, which are beginning to be better appreciated in epidemiological studies. A number of risk factors, such as ischemic heart disease, hypertension, smoking, obesity, and diabetes, among others, have been identified that both predict the incidence of HF as well as its severity. In this Review, we discuss key features of the epidemiology and risk profile of HF.

                Author and article information

                [a ]The George Institute for Global Health, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
                [b ]Deep Medicine, Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
                [c ]Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences, Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
                [d ]Bristol National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre, Musculoskeletal Research Unit, Southmead Hospital, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
                [e ]Medical Research Council Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, Southampton General Hospital, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK
                [f ]The Farr Institute of Health Informatics Research, University College London, London, UK
                [g ]The National Institute for Health Research, Biomedical Research Centre, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust/University College London, London, UK
                [h ]Robertson Centre for Biostatistics and Clinical Trials, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK
                [i ]Institute for Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK
                [j ]National Heart & Lung Institute, Imperial College London, London, UK
                [k ]Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford, UK
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence to: Prof Kazem Rahimi, The George Institute for Global Health, Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3QX, UKCorrespondence to: Prof Kazem Rahimi, The George Institute for Global HealthOxford Martin SchoolUniversity of OxfordOxfordOX1 3QXUK kazem.rahimi@
                Lancet (London, England)
                10 February 2018
                10 February 2018
                : 391
                : 10120
                : 572-580
                29174292 5814791 S0140-6736(17)32520-5 10.1016/S0140-6736(17)32520-5
                © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an Open Access article under the CC BY 4.0 license

                This is an open access article under the CC BY license (




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