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Int J Rheum Dis. 2019 May;22(5):890-896. doi: 10.1111/1756-185X.13470. Epub 2019 Feb 6.

Validation of algorithms to identify knee osteoarthritis patients in the claims database.

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Department of Rheumatology, Hanyang University Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases, Seoul, South Korea.
Department of Statistics, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea.
College of Pharmacy, Chung-Ang University, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Information Statistics, Andong National University, Andong-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea.



To identify knee osteoarthritis (OA) patients among OA patients in the claims database.


All patients with OA diagnostic codes for any sites (M15 to M19) in 2014 were recruited from a single academic referral hospital. After excluding patients who had inflammatory arthritis or were less than 50 years of age, we identified data for the overall OA population. Radiographic knee OA of Kellgren and Lawrence grades ≥2 is considered the gold standard for knee OA, and we evaluated the sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive value (PPV) of three operational definitions using the diagnostic codes in the claims database. The operational definitions were: (1) gonarthrosis (M17); (2) any site of OA (M15 to M19) with knee X-ray; and (3) (1) or (2).


A total of 7959 OA patients were included in this study of whom 74.5% were women. The PPV of gonarthrosis (M17) was 0.67 (95% CI 0.65-0.69), and sensitivity was 0.44 (95% CI 0.42-0.46). The PPV and sensitivity of any OA site (M15 to M19) with knee X-ray were 0.65 (95% CI 0.62-0.67), and 0.37 (95% CI 0.35-0.39), respectively. When knee OA was defined as satisfying either of the two above definitions, PPV was 0.63 (95% CI 0.62-0.65) and sensitivity 0.55 (95% CI 0.53-0.57).


Knee OA patients can be identified in a claims database using the algorithms of gonarthrosis (M17) or any site of OA (M15 to M19) with a performed knee X-ray.


claims data; diagnostic codes; osteoarthritis; validation


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