The content of this paper was presented as an oral presentation at the 2012 International Conference on Pharmacoepidemiology in Barcelona, Spain, August 23–26.
Methods of linking mothers and infants using health plan data for studies of pregnancy outcomes†
Article first published online: 18 APR 2013
Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety
Volume 22, Issue 7, pages 776–782, July 2013
How to Cite
Johnson, K. E., Beaton, S. J., Andrade, S. E., Cheetham, T. C., Scott, P. E., Hammad, T. A., Dashevsky, I., Cooper, W. O., Davis, R. L., Pawloski, P. A., Raebel, M. A., Smith, D. H., Toh, S., Li, D.-K., Haffenreffer, K. and Dublin, S. (2013), Methods of linking mothers and infants using health plan data for studies of pregnancy outcomes. Pharmacoepidem. Drug Safe., 22: 776–782. doi: 10.1002/pds.3443
- Issue published online: 3 JUL 2013
- Article first published online: 18 APR 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 5 MAR 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 19 FEB 2013
- Manuscript Received: 16 JUL 2012
- birth certificates;
- pregnancy outcome/epidemiology;
- medical record linkage;
Research on medication safety in pregnancy often utilizes health plan and birth certificate records. This study discusses methods used to link mothers with infants, a crucial step in such research.
We describe how eight sites participating in the Medication Exposure in Pregnancy Risk Evaluation Program created linkages between deliveries, infants and birth certificates for the 2001–2007 birth cohorts. We describe linkage rates across sites, and for two sites, we compare the characteristics of populations linked using different methods.
Of 299 260 deliveries, 256 563 (86%; range by site, 74–99%) could be linked to infants using a deterministic algorithm. At two sites, using birth certificate data to augment mother–infant linkage increased the representation of mothers who were Hispanic or non-White, younger, Medicaid recipients, or had low educational level. A total of 236 460 (92%; range by site, 82–100%) deliveries could be linked to a birth certificate.
Tailored approaches enabled linking most deliveries to infants and to birth certificates, even when data systems differed. The methods used may affect the composition of the population identified. Linkages established with such methods can support sound pharmacoepidemiology studies of maternal drug exposure outside the context of a formal registry. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.