Contemporary accuracy of death certificates for coding prostate cancer as a cause of death: Is reliance on death certification good enough? A comparison with blinded review by an independent cause of death evaluation committee.

Emma Turner, Chris Metcalfe, Jenny Donovan, Sian Noble, Jonathan Sterne, Athene Lane, Eleanor Walsh, Liz Hill, Liz Down, Yoav Ben-Shlomo, Steven Oliver, Simon Evans, Peter Brindle, Naomi Williams, Laura J Hughes, Charlotte Davies, Siaw Yein Ng, David Neal, Freddie C Hamdy, Peter C AlbertsenColette Reid, Jon Oxley, John McFarlane, Mary Robinson, Jan Adolfsson, Anthony Zietman, Michael Baum, Anthony Koupparis, Richard Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

26 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Background: Accurate cause of death assignment is crucial for prostate cancer epidemiology and trials reporting prostate cancer-specific mortality outcomes.  Methods: We compared death certificate information with independent cause of death evaluation by an expert committee within a prostate cancer trial (2002-2015). Results: Of 1,236 deaths assessed, expert committee evaluation attributed 523 (42%) to prostate cancer, agreeing with death certificate cause of death in 1,134 cases (92%, 95% CI: 90%, 93%). The sensitivity of death certificates in identifying prostate cancer deaths as classified by the committee was 91% (95% CI: 89%, 94%); specificity was 92% (95% CI: 90%, 94%). Sensitivity and specificity were lower where death occurred within one year of diagnosis, and where there was another primary cancer diagnosis.Conclusion: UK death certificates accurately identify cause of death in men with prostate cancer, supporting their use in routine statistics. Possible differential misattribution by trial arm supports independent evaluation in randomised trials.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90–94
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Volume115
Issue number1
Early online date2 Jun 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2016

Structured keywords

  • BTC (Bristol Trials Centre)
  • Centre for Surgical Research

Keywords

  • Cluster randomised controlled trial
  • screening
  • prostate cancer
  • prostate cancer mortality
  • cause of death
  • death certification
  • sensitivity
  • specificity

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