Prevalence data for England and Northern Ireland

Prevalence data is starting to get out! In the table below you can see the data from England and Northern Ireland. The English data was taken from QMAS at the start of April and the NI data from their official prevalence bulletin. I would recommend the NI bulletin for further reading as there are a lot of nice charts showing the spread of the prevalence. When comparing the data with previous years it is important to remember that there have been big rule changes in mental health and smaller one in LVD. Also of note is that the palliative care prevalence is for information only and does not change the cash value of points as the others do.

There are couple of figures in the NI bulletin I don't understand - mainly the depression 2 and LVD 3 listings. I can't quite see the relevance but I will ask!

Prevalence Area England Northern Ireland
CHD 3.551 4.196
LVD 0.790 0.818
Stroke 1.615 1.619
Hypertension 12.466 11.651
Diabetes 3.629 3.138
COPD 1.425 15.33
Epilepsy 0.590 0.745
Thyroid 2.490 2.872
Cancer 0.897 0.778
Palliative Care 0.087 0.090
Mental Health 0.716 0.753
Asthma 5.771 5.78
Dementia 0.400 0.526
Depression* 7.004 6.5
Kidney Disease 2.242 2.307
Atrial Fibrillation 1.295 1.252
Obesity 7.223 7.989
Learning disabilities 0.256 0.316
Smoking - for recording** 19.557 18.55

* I am not sure exactly what this depression figure means. I think it is the number of people eligible for depression screening.

** This is the number of people eligible to be asked regularly about their smoking. It is the combined prevalence of diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, COPD and stroke


Anonymous said...

There should be 2 prevalences in depression. DEP1 is the number with diabetes and/or CHD that should be asked the 2 depression screening questions. DEP2 is the number of patients who have ever been diagnosed with depression. This will show a wide variation in prevalence as it required practices to have a level of technical ability to switch a number historical read codes (pre 1.4.2006) to acceptable QOF codes but also with an episode type of - new event or first ever.

What is not shown in the national QOF prevalences are the new cases of depression (incidence)and so it is not possible at present for practices to compare their diagnosis rate.

Gavin Jamie said...

Many thanks for this very interesting comment. A look through the business rules certainly confirms this.
Interestingly we get the the situation that Dep2 prevalence is likely to be considerably more affected by the practices notes summarisation and the use of coding before this year than activity within it. This is also true of the mental health area.
The effect on the ground is the rather strange distribution graph we see in the Northern Ireland publication above.
None of this is at all obvious on QMAS!