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© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2020. Re-use permitted under CC BY. Published by BMJ. Objectives The validity of bullous pemphigoid and pemphigus vulgaris recording in routinely collected healthcare data in the UK is unknown. We assessed the positive predictive value (PPV) for bullous pemphigoid and pemphigus vulgaris primary care Read codes in the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) using linked inpatient data (Hospital Episode Statistics (HES)) as the diagnostic benchmark. Setting Adult participants with bullous pemphigoid or pemphigus vulgaris registered with HES-linked general practices in England between January 1998 and December 2017. Code-based algorithms were used to identify patients from the CPRD and extract their benchmark blistering disease diagnosis from HES. Primary outcome measure The PPVs of Read codes for bullous pemphigoid and pemphigus vulgaris. Results Of 2468 incident cases of bullous pemphigoid and 431 of pemphigus vulgaris, 797 (32.3%) and 85 (19.7%) patients, respectively, had a hospitalisation record for a blistering disease. The PPV for bullous pemphigoid Read codes was 93.2% (95% CI 91.3% to 94.8%). Of the bullous pemphigoid cases, 3.0% had an HES diagnosis of pemphigus vulgaris and 3.8% of another blistering disease. The PPV for pemphigus vulgaris Read codes was 58.5% (95% CI 48.0% to 68.9%). Of the pemphigus vulgaris cases, 24.7% had an HES diagnosis of bullous pemphigoid and 16.5% of another blistering disease. Conclusions The CPRD can be used to study bullous pemphigoid, but recording of pemphigus vulgaris needs to improve in primary care.

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Journal article


BMJ Open

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