Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 546744
Title Estimating disease prevalence from drug utilization data using the Random Forest algorithm
Author(s) Slobbe, Laurentius C.J.; Füssenich, Koen; Wong, Albert; Boshuizen, Hendriek C.; Nielen, Markus M.J.; Polder, Johan J.; Feenstra, Talitha L.; Oers, Hans A.M. Van
Source European Journal of Public Health 29 (2019)4. - ISSN 1101-1262 - p. 615 - 621.
DOI https://doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/cky270
Department(s) Biometris
Human Nutrition & Health
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2019
Abstract Background: Aggregated claims data on medication are often used as a proxy for the prevalence of diseases, especially chronic diseases. However, linkage between medication and diagnosis tend to be theory based and not very precise. Modelling disease probability at an individual level using individual level data may yield more accurate results. Methods; Individual probabilities of having a certain chronic disease were estimated using the Random Forest (RF) algorithm. A training set was created from a general practitioners database of 276 723 cases that included diagnosis and claims data on medication. Model performance for 29 chronic diseases was evaluated using Receiver-Operator Curves, by measuring the Area Under the Curve (AUC). Results: The diseases for which model performance was best were Parkinson’s disease (AUC = .89, 95% CI = .77–1.00), diabetes (AUC = .87, 95% CI = .85–.90), osteoporosis (AUC = .87, 95% CI = .81–.92) and heart failure (AUC = .81, 95% CI = .74–.88). Five other diseases had an AUC >.75: asthma, chronic enteritis, COPD, epilepsy and HIV/AIDS. For 16 of 17 diseases tested, the medication categories used in theory-based algorithms were also identified by our method, however the RF models included a broader range of medications as important predictors. Conclusion: Data on medication use can be a useful predictor when estimating the prevalence of several chronic diseases. To improve the estimates, for a broader range of chronic diseases, research should use better training data, include more details concerning dosages and duration of prescriptions, and add related predictors like hospitalizations
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