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Developing Alternative Methods for Determining the Incidence, Prevalence, and Cost Burden of Coronary Heart Disease in a Corporate Population

Beckowski, Meghan Short MPH; Goyal, Abhinav MD, MHS; Goetzel, Ron Z. PhD; Rinehart, Christine L. MPH; Darling, Kathryn J. BS; Yarborough, Charles M. MD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: August 2012 - Volume 54 - Issue 8 - p 1026–1038
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e318256f636

Objective: To determine the most appropriate methods for estimating the prevalence and incidence of coronary heart disease (CHD), the associated risk factors, and health care costs in a corporate setting.

Methods: Using medical insurance claims data for the period of 2005–2009 from 18 companies in the Thomson Reuters MarketScan[reg] database, we evaluated three alternative methods.

Results: Prevalence of CHD ranged from 2.1% to 4.0% using a method requiring a second confirmatory claim. Annual incidence of CHD ranged from 1.0% to 1.6% using a method requiring 320 days of benefits enrollment in the previous year, and one claim for a diagnosis of CHD.

Conclusion: Alternative methods for determining the epidemiologic and cost burden of CHD using insurance claims data were explored. These methods can inform organizations that want to quantify the health and cost burden of various diseases common among an employed population.

Supplemental digital content is available in the text.

From Thomson Reuters (Ms Beckowski, Dr Goetzel, and Ms Rinehart), Washington, DC; Department of Epidemiology (Dr Goyal), Rollins School of Public Health, Institute for Health and Productivity Studies (Dr Goetzel), Rollins School of Public Health, and School of Medicine (Dr Goyal), Emory University, Atlanta, Ga; and Lockheed Martin Corporation (Ms Darling and Dr Yarborough), Bethesda, Md.

Address correspondence to: Ron Z. Goetzel, PhD, Thomson Reuters, 4301 Connecticut Ave, NW, Suite 330, Washington, DC 20008 (

Lockheed Martin Corporation provided funding for the preparation of this article.

The opinions expressed in this article are the authors' and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Thomson Reuters, Emory University, or Lockheed Martin.

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's Web site (

©2012The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine