Joint use of epidemiological and hospital medico-administrative data to estimate prevalence. Application to French data on breast cancer

Cancer Epidemiol. 2012 Apr;36(2):116-21. doi: 10.1016/j.canep.2011.12.001. Epub 2011 Dec 26.


Background: Estimate complete, limited-duration, and hospital prevalence of breast cancer in a French Département covered by a population-based cancer registry and in whole France using complementary information sources.

Methods: Incidence data from a cancer registry, national incidence estimations for France, mortality data, and hospital medico-administrative data were used to estimate the three prevalence indices. The methods included a modelling of epidemiological data and a specific process of data extraction from medico-administrative databases.

Results: Limited-duration prevalence at 33 years was a proxy for complete prevalence only in patients aged less than 70 years. In 2007 and in women older than 15 years, the limited-duration prevalence at 33 years rate per 100,000 women was estimated at 2372 for Département Isère and 2354 for whole France. The latter rate corresponded to 613,000 women. The highest rate corresponded to women aged 65-74 years (6161 per 100,000 in whole France). About one third of the 33-year limited-duration prevalence cases were diagnosed five years before and about one fourth were hospitalized for breast-cancer-related care (i.e., hospital prevalence). In 2007, the rate of hospitalized women was 557 per 100,000 in whole France. Among the 120,310 women hospitalized for breast-cancer-related care in 2007, about 13% were diagnosed before 2004.

Conclusion: Limited-duration prevalence (long- and short-term), and hospital prevalence are complementary indices of cancer prevalence. Their efficient direct or indirect estimations are essential to reflect the burden of the disease and forecast median- and long-term medical, economic, and social patient needs, especially after the initial treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • France / epidemiology
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Statistical*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prevalence
  • Registries
  • Young Adult