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Pediatr Diabetes. 2014 Dec;15(8):573-84. doi: 10.1111/pedi.12152. Epub 2014 Jun 9.

Use of administrative and electronic health record data for development of automated algorithms for childhood diabetes case ascertainment and type classification: the SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth Study.

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Department of Nutrition, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.



The performance of automated algorithms for childhood diabetes case ascertainment and type classification may differ by demographic characteristics.


This study evaluated the potential of administrative and electronic health record (EHR) data from a large academic care delivery system to conduct diabetes case ascertainment in youth according to type, age, and race/ethnicity.


Of 57 767 children aged <20 yr as of 31 December 2011 seen at University of North Carolina Health Care System in 2011 were included.


Using an initial algorithm including billing data, patient problem lists, laboratory test results, and diabetes related medications between 1 July 2008 and 31 December 2011, presumptive cases were identified and validated by chart review. More refined algorithms were evaluated by type (type 1 vs. type 2), age (<10 vs. ≥10 yr) and race/ethnicity (non-Hispanic White vs. 'other'). Sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive value were calculated and compared.


The best algorithm for ascertainment of overall diabetes cases was billing data. The best type 1 algorithm was the ratio of the number of type 1 billing codes to the sum of type 1 and type 2 billing codes ≥0.5. A useful algorithm to ascertain youth with type 2 diabetes with 'other' race/ethnicity was identified. Considerable age and racial/ethnic differences were present in type-non-specific and type 2 algorithms.


Administrative and EHR data may be used to identify cases of childhood diabetes (any type), and to identify type 1 cases. The performance of type 2 case ascertainment algorithms differed substantially by race/ethnicity.


administrative data; case ascertainment; childhood diabetes; electronic health record; type classification

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