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[Sepsis incidence in Germany and worldwide : Current knowledge and limitations of research using health claims data].

Sepsis is the life-threatening organ dysfunction caused by a dysregulated host response to infection. With an estimated 48.9 million patients being affected by sepsis every year, sepsis is one of the most common diseases worldwide. Approximately 20% of global deaths are considered as sepsis-related. In Germany, a study based on nationwide hospital discharge data of almost all German hospitals found a sepsis incidence of 158 per 100,000 inhabitants. Estimates based on clinical patient data from other industrialized countries were 780/100,000 (Sweden) and 517/100,000 (USA). However, the comparability of incidence rates is limited due to the different data sources and sepsis case identification strategies used. In all, 41.7% of sepsis patients died in hospital, and 17.9% of intensive care unit patients are affected by sepsis. Case identification of sepsis in health claims data has a low sensitivity; therefore, it is likely that sepsis incidence is underestimated using these data, as many sepsis cases are not coded as such. For the purpose of epidemiological surveillance, health claims data should be complemented by other data sources such as registries or electronic health records.

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