Using either self-reported disease prognosis from survey responses or disease-specific diagnosis codes in administrative data are the two common ways of measuring disease prevalence in research. Claims are often assumed to be more objective however it isn’t clear that claims always produce better estimates.
Patricia St. Clair and her colleagues assess prevalence of diabetes and heart attack in the US elderly population across the most well used data sources for estimation. They find comparisons of diagnosed diabetes and heart attack prevalence show similar trends by source but claims differ from self-reports with regard to levels.
The full study is available at Medical Care.
Citation: Clair, P. S., Gaudette, É., Zhao, H., Tysinger, B., Seyedin, R., & Goldman, D. P. (2017). Using Self-reports or Claims to Assess Disease Prevalence: It’s Complicated. Medical Care, 55(8), 782-788.