Predictive value of stroke discharge diagnoses in the Danish National Patient Register

Pernille Lühdorf, Kim Overvad, Erik B Schmidt, Søren P Johnsen, Flemming W Bach

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AIMS: To determine the positive predictive values for stroke discharge diagnoses, including subarachnoidal haemorrhage, intracerebral haemorrhage and cerebral infarction in the Danish National Patient Register.

METHODS: Participants in the Danish cohort study Diet, Cancer and Health with a stroke discharge diagnosis in the National Patient Register between 1993 and 2009 were identified and their medical records were retrieved for validation of the diagnoses.

RESULTS: A total of 3326 records of possible cases of stroke were reviewed. The overall positive predictive value for stroke was 69.3% (95% confidence interval (CI) 67.8-70.9%). The predictive values differed according to hospital characteristics, with the highest predictive value of 87.8% (95% CI 85.5-90.1%) found in departments of neurology and the lowest predictive value of 43.0% (95% CI 37.6-48.5%) found in outpatient clinics.

CONCLUSIONS: The overall stroke diagnosis in the Danish National Patient Register had a limited predictive value. We therefore recommend the critical use of non-validated register data for research on stroke. The possibility of optimising the predictive values based on more advanced algorithms should be considered.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Public Health
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)630-636
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Journal Article


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