To analyze the impact of the length of disease‐free intervals on incidence estimation.
Statutory health insurance sample in Germany.
Overestimation of the incidence in the first quarter of 2008 for three selected diseases, diabetes mellitus, colorectal cancer, and heart failure, depending on different lengths of preceding disease‐free intervals.
Continuously insured from 2000 until 2008 ≥18 years ( = 144,907).
Compared with an 8‐year disease‐free period, incidence overestimations for diabetes, colorectal cancer, and heart failure were 40, 23, and 43 percent defining a 1‐year, and 5, 9, and 5 percent defining a 5‐year disease‐free period, respectively.
Depending on the specific disease, caution has to be taken while using short disease‐free periods because incidence estimates may be extremely overestimated.
Data Collection/Extraction Methods