Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

Completeness and usability of ethnicity data in UK-based primary care and hospital databases

Mathur, R., Bhaskaran, K., Chaturvedi, N., Leon, D. A., vanStaa, T., Grundy, Emily ORCID: 0000-0002-9633-1116 and Smeeth, L. (2014) Completeness and usability of ethnicity data in UK-based primary care and hospital databases. Journal of Public Health, 36 (4). pp. 684-692. ISSN 1741-3842

PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (510kB) | Preview
Identification Number: 10.1093/pubmed/fdt116


Background Ethnicity recording across the National Health Service (NHS) has improved dramatically over the past decade. This study profiles the completeness, consistency and representativeness of routinely collected ethnicity data in both primary care and hospital settings. Methods Completeness and consistency of ethnicity recording was examined in the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) and Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), and the ethnic breakdown of the CPRD was compared with that of the 2011 UK censuses. Results 27.1% of all patients in the CPRD (1990–2012) have ethnicity recorded. This proportion rises to 78.3% for patients registered since April 2006. The ethnic breakdown of the CPRD is comparable to the UK censuses. 79.4% of HES inpatients, 46.8% of outpatients and 26.8% of A&E patients had their ethnicity recorded. Amongst those with ethnicity recorded on >1 occasion, consistency was over 90% in all data sets except for HES inpatients. Combining CPRD and HES increased completeness to 97%, with 85% of patients having the same ethnicity recorded in both databases. Conclusions Using CPRD ethnicity from 2006 onwards maximizes completeness and comparability with the UK population. High concordance within and across NHS sources suggests these data are of high value when examining the continuum of care. Poor completeness and consistency of A&E and outpatient data render these sources unreliable.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2014 Oxford Unviersity Press This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited
Divisions: Social Policy
Lifecourse, Ageing & Population Health
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2013 09:34
Last Modified: 21 May 2024 18:57
Projects: ES/I025561/2
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council, Wellcome Trust Senior Clinical Fellowship, National Institute for Health Research, Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) NCRM Pathways node

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics