Medical records as sources of data on cardiovascular disease events in persons with diabetes.

Kleins Lab // Publications // Jul 01 2006

PubMed ID: 16798473

Author(s): Klein BE, Klein R, McBride PE, Reinke JO, Knudtson MD. Medical records as sources of data on cardiovascular disease events in persons with diabetes. J Diabetes Complications. 2006 Jul-Aug;20(4):224-7. PMID 16798473

Journal: Journal Of Diabetes And Its Complications, Volume 20, Issue 4,

PURPOSE The aim of this study is to evaluate medical records as a source of data on cardiovascular disease over a 20-year interval.

METHODS Participants in a population-based cohort of persons with Type 1 diabetes were asked whether they had been told by a doctor that they had several specific cardiovascular events. In addition, they were asked when and where they were hospitalized for myocardial infarction, stroke, surgical procedures, and for other conditions and procedures. The medical care institution was contacted to obtain copies of the relevant hospitalization.

RESULTS Overall, the confirmation of the self-reported events was 86.0% when medical records were obtained. Percent confirmed varied with the diagnosis. Reports of poor circulation in the lower extremities were confirmed in 42.6%, stroke was confirmed in 70%, and coronary bypass surgery was confirmed in 100% of cases. The success of obtaining medical records was greater for those events that were reported to have occurred more recently than those reported further in the past, especially when 10 or more years had elapsed.

CONCLUSION Medical record confirmation of reported cardiovascular events in persons with Type 1 diabetes was high for some events when medical records could be obtained but was lower for “poor circulation” to the legs and stroke possibly related to the lack of specificity of our questions, to incorrect attribution of symptoms by the respondent, or to inaccurate recall of a physician’s examination. Medical record confirmation was better for more recent than past events. Therefore, when hard copy documentation is needed, it should be sought within 10 years of the event.