JOURNAL ARTICLE

Linking 2006 Census and hospital data in Canada

Michelle Rotermann, Claudia Sanmartin, Richard Trudeau, Hélène St-Jean
Health Reports 2015, 26 (10): 10-20
26488823

BACKGROUND: Record linkage is commonly used in health research to fill data gaps. This study summarizes the linkage of the 2006 Census of Population (excluding Quebec) to hospital data from the Discharge Abstract Database (DAD).

DATA AND METHODS: Hierarchical deterministic exact matching was employed to link 2006 Census and DAD (2006/2007, 2007/2008 and 2008/2009) data, based on linkage keys derived from three variables common to both files-date of birth, postal code and sex. The full census file (short-form; 23.4 million) was used for record linkage; the 20% file (long-form; 4.65 million) representing the study cohort was used for validation. Linked files were compared across jurisdictions, years and other selected covariates in terms of eligibility for linkage, keys linked, and linkage and coverage rates.

RESULTS: Overall, 80% of linkage keys identified in the DAD were linked to the 2006 Census. The percentage of long-form census respondents linked to at least one hospital record ranged between 5% and 8% across jurisdictions; linkage rates were higher among known high users of hospital services: older age groups, lower-income individuals, and Aboriginal people. In general, the linked census file represents the majority of hospital events that occurred during the study period. Coverage rates (weighted/unweighted) varied by geography and age group, with lower weighted rates for the territories and some younger age groups.

INTERPRETATION: With hierarchical deterministic exact matching, census data can be linked to multiple years of DAD data. Incorporation of updated postal codes from tax files reduced linkage rate attrition over time. Lower coverage rates for the territories and younger age groups suggest that these populations may be underrepresented in the linked files.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article

Discussion

You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read
26488823
×

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.

×

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"