DOI: 10.1111/dme.15291 ISSN: 0742-3071

A novel approach to accurately measuring the burden of hospitalisations for cardiovascular disease in people with diabetes: A pilot study

Quan Huynh, John Burgess, Kate Flentje, Neville Tan, Riley Batchelor, Thomas H. Marwick, Jonathan E. Shaw
  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Internal Medicine



To determine the reliability of hospital discharge codes for heart failure (HF), acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and stroke compared with adjudicated diagnosis, and to pilot a scalable approach to adjudicate records on a population‐based sample.


A population‐based sample of 685 people with diabetes admitted (1274 admissions) to one of three Australian hospitals during 2018–2020 were randomly selected for this study. All medical records were reviewed and adjudicated.


Cardiovascular diseases were the most common primary reason for hospitalisation in people with diabetes, accounting for ~17% (215/1274) of all hospitalisations, with HF as the leading cause. ICD‐10 codes substantially underestimated HF prevalence and had the lowest agreement with the adjudicated diagnosis of HF (Kappa = 0.81), compared with AMI and stroke (Kappa ≥ 0.91). While ICD‐10 codes provided suboptimal sensitivity (72%) for HF, the performance was better for AMI (sensitivity 84%; specificity 100%) and stroke (sensitivity 85%; specificity 100%). A novel approach to screen possible HF cases only required adjudicating 8% (105/1274) of records, correctly identified 78/81 of HF admissions and yielded 96% sensitivity and 98% specificity.


While ICD‐10 codes appear reliable for AMI or stroke, a more complex diagnosis such as HF benefits from a two‐stage process to screen for suspected HF cases that need adjudicating. The next step is to validate this novel approach on large multi‐centre studies in diabetes.

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