Comparability of the age and sex distribution of the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink and the total Dutch population

Roy G. P. J. de Jong, Arlene M. Gallagher, Emily Herrett, Ad A. M. Masclee, Maryska L. G. Janssen-Heijnen, Frank de Vries*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Purpose The UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) is increasingly being used by Dutch researchers in epidemiology and pharmacoepidemiology. It is however unclear if the UK CPRD is representative of the Dutch population and whether study results would apply to the Dutch population. Therefore, as first step, our objective was to compare the age and sex distribution of the CPRD with the total Dutch population. Methods As a measure of representativeness, the age and sex distribution of the UK CPRD were visually and numerically compared with Dutch census data from the StatLine database of the Dutch National Bureau of Statistics in 2011. Results The age distribution of men and women in the CPRD population was comparable to the Dutch male and female population. Differences of more than 10% only occurred in older age categories (75+ in men and 80+ in women). Conclusions Results from observational studies that have used CPRD data are applicable to the Dutch population, and a useful resource for decision making in the Netherlands. Nevertheless, differences in drug exposure likelihood between countries should be kept in mind, as these could still cause variations in the actual population studied, thereby decreasing its generalizability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1460-1464
JournalPharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016


  • representativeness
  • database
  • population-based
  • epidemiology
  • pharmacoepidemiology

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