La Trobe
1166119_Vijh,R_2021.pdf (662.91 kB)

Identifying heart failure in patients with chronic obstructive lung disease through the Canadian Primary Care Sentinel Surveillance Network in British Columbia: a case derivation study

Download (662.91 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 2021-06-01, 05:51 authored by Rohit Vijh, Sabrina T Wong, Matthew Grandy, Sandra Peterson, Allison EzzatAllison Ezzat, Andrew G Gibb, Nathaniel M Hawkins


Heart failure (HF) poses a substantial global health burden, particularly in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The objective of this study was to validate an electronic medical record-based definition of HF in patients with COPD in primary care practices in the province of British Columbia, Canada.


We conducted a cross-sectional retrospective chart review from Sept. 1, 2018, to Dec. 31, 2018, for a cohort of patients from primary care practices in BC whose physicians were recruited through the BC node of the Canadian Primary Care Sentinel Surveillance Network. Heart failure case definitions were developed by combining diagnostic codes, medication information and laboratory values available in primary care electronic medical records. These were compared with HF diagnoses identified through detailed chart review as the gold standard. Sensitivity, specificity, negative (NPV) and positive predictive values (PPV) were calculated for each definition.


Charts of 311 patients with COPD were reviewed, of whom 72 (23.2%) had HF. Five categories of definitions were constructed, all of which had appropriate sensitivity, specificity and NPV. The optimal case definition consisted of 1 HF billing code or a specific combination of medications for HF. This definition had an excellent specificity (93.3%, 95% confidence interval [CI] 89.4%-96.1%), sensitivity (90.3%, 95% CI 81.0%-96.0%), PPV (80.2%, 95% CI 69.9%-88.3%) and NPV (97.0%, 95% CI 93.8%-98.8%).


This comprehensive case definition improves upon previous primary care HF definitions to include medication codes and laboratory data, along with previously used billing codes. A case definition for HF was derived and validated and can be used with data from electronic medical records to identify HF in patients with COPD in primary care accurately.


Publication Date









(p. E376-E383)


Joule Inc.



Rights Statement

The Author reserves all moral rights over the deposited text and must be credited if any re-use occurs. Documents deposited in OPAL are the Open Access versions of outputs published elsewhere. Changes resulting from the publishing process may therefore not be reflected in this document. The final published version may be obtained via the publisher’s DOI. Please note that additional copyright and access restrictions may apply to the published version.

Usage metrics

    Journal Articles


    No categories selected