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Recording of Influenza-Like Illness in UK Primary Care 1995-2013: Cohort Study

Hardelid, P; Rait, G; Gilbert, R; Petersen, I; (2015) Recording of Influenza-Like Illness in UK Primary Care 1995-2013: Cohort Study. PLoS One , 10 (9) , Article e0138659. 10.1371/journal.pone.0138659. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: There is a lack of recent studies examining recording of influenza-like illness (ILI) in primary care in the UK over time and according to population characteristics. Our aim was to determine time trends and socio-demographic patterns of ILI recorded consultations in primary care. METHODS: We used The Health Improvement Network (THIN) UK primary care database and extracted data on all ILI consultations between 1995 and 2013. We estimated ILI recorded consultation rates per 100,000 person-weeks (pw) by age, gender, deprivation and winter season. Negative binomial regression models were used to examine time trends and the effect of socio-demographic characteristics. Trends in ILI recorded consultations were compared to trends in consultations with less specific symptoms (cough or fever) recorded. RESULTS: The study involved 7,682,908 individuals in 542 general practices. The ILI consultation rate decreased from 32.5/100,000 pw (95% confidence interval (CI) 32.1, 32.9) in 1995-98 to 15.5/100,000 pw (95% CI 15.4, 15.7) by 2010-13. The decrease occurred prior to 2002/3, and rates have remained largely stable since then. Declines were evident in all age groups. In comparison, cough or fever consultation rates increased from 169.4/100,000 pw (95% CI 168.6, 170.3) in 1995-98 to 237.7/100,000 pw (95% CI 237.2, 238.2) in 2010-13. ILI consultation rates were highest among individuals aged 15-44 years, higher in women than men, and in individuals from deprived areas. CONCLUSION: There is substantial variation in ILI recorded consultations over time and by population socio-demographic characteristics, most likely reflecting changing recording behaviour by GPs. These results highlight the difficulties in using coded information from electronic primary care records to measure the severity of influenza epidemics across time and assess the relative burden of ILI in different population subgroups.

Type: Article
Title: Recording of Influenza-Like Illness in UK Primary Care 1995-2013: Cohort Study
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0138659
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0138659
Additional information: © 2015 Hardelid et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Primary Care and Population Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Population, Policy and Practice Dept
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1473340
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