Background: Register diagnoses, both hospital-based and from open clinic care, are often used in research studies in Sweden. The validity of such diagnoses has been debated and a validation assessment can improve the diagnostic accuracy for use in research studies.

Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the quality of register-derived dementia diagnoses in the Malmö Diet and Cancer population study (MDCS) and to validate these diagnoses using systematic criteria.

Methods: MDCS is a population-based prospective study comprising 30,446 participants. Register diagnoses of dementia for the MDCS population were derived from the Swedish National Patient Register (NPR) and validated through re-evaluation of available medical records by physicians.

Results: In the MDCS cohort, 2,206 participants were diagnosed with dementia according to the NPR during a mean follow-up of 18.1 years. The general dementia diagnosis was valid in 96% of the cases, but 40% of the specific dementia diagnoses were changed during the process of reevaluation. The diagnostic validity varied between 25.2% and 82.9% for the different diagnoses. The results from the validity assessment per diagnostic category revealed that the validity of the NPR diagnoses was higher for the more specific diagnoses and lower for unspecified dementia. The major diagnostic shift during the re-evaluation was from unspecified dementia to more specific diagnoses.

Conclusion: Validation of dementia diagnoses using medical records results in more precise diagnoses. Dementia diagnoses derived from registers should be validated in order to study associations between influential factors and different dementia diagnoses.
Sidor (från-till)529-538
TidskriftJournal of Alzheimer's Disease Reports
StatusPublished - 2022 sep. 5

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Geriatrik


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