Use of health insurance claim patterns to identify patients using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for rheumatoid arthritis

Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2012 Jun;21(6):573-83. doi: 10.1002/pds.3221. Epub 2012 Feb 15.


Purpose: To determine healthcare claim patterns associated using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Methods: The CADEUS study randomly identified NSAID users within the French health insurance database. One-year claims data were extracted, and NSAID indication was obtained from prescribers. Logistic regression was used in a development sample to identify claim patterns predictive of RA and models applied to a validation sample. Analyses were stratified on the dispensation of immunosuppressive agents or specific antirheumatism treatment, and the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was used to estimate discriminant power.

Results: NSAID indication was provided for 26,259 of the 45,217 patients included in the CADEUS cohort; it was RA for 956 patients. Two models were constructed using the development sample (n = 13,143), stratifying on the dispensation of an immunosuppressive agent or specific antirheumatism treatment. Discriminant power was high for both models (AUC > 0.80) and was not statistically different from that found when applied to the validation sample (n = 13,116).

Conclusions: The models derived from this study may help to identify patients prescribed NSAIDs who are likely to have RA in claims databases without medical data such as treatment indication.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal* / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal* / therapeutic use
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / epidemiology
  • Drug Utilization Review / methods*
  • Drug Utilization Review / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • France
  • Humans
  • Insurance Claim Review* / statistics & numerical data
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pharmacoepidemiology
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal