Facility disparities in reporting comorbidities to the National Trauma Data Bank

Am J Surg. 2018 Sep;216(3):401-406. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2018.01.031. Epub 2018 Feb 1.


Background: The National Trauma Data Bank (NTDB) includes patient comorbidities. This study evaluates factors of trauma centers associated with higher rates of missing comorbidity data.

Methods: Proportions of missing comorbidity data from facilities in the NTDB from 2011 to 2014 were evaluated for associations with facility characteristics. Proportional impact analysis was performed to identify potential policy targets.

Results: Of 919 included facilities, 85% reported comorbidity data in 95% or more cases; only 31.3% were missing no data. Missing rates were significantly different based on most facility categories, but independently associated only with hospital size, region, and trauma center level. Only 15% of centers were responsible for over 80% of cases missing data.

Conclusions: There is significant nonrandom variation in reporting trauma patient comorbidities to the NTDB. Missing data needs to be recognized and considered in studies of trauma comorbidities. Targeted intervention may improve data quality.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Comorbidity / trends
  • Databases, Factual
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Registries*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Trauma Centers / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*