THIN® (The Health Improvement Network), one of Europe’s largest real-world database now includes German anonymized electronic health records
[Copenhagen, ISPOR Europe, November 13th 2023]
[Copenhagen, ISPOR Europe, November 13th 2023]
Paris and London, November 7, 2023
The Health Improvement Network (THIN®), a Cegedim database, is an unobtrusive medical data collection scheme that contains anonymized health records of over 17 million patients in the UK. It is one of the most extensive primary care databases in the world, providing valuable insight into the patterns of diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes of various medical conditions.
Cegedim Health Data’s THIN® Database and Outcomes Manager solution to provide the foundation for the implementation and evaluation of a novel ‘dAta-DrIven rANdomised clinical Trial platform’ in primary care (RADIANT*)
For decades, medical improvements and better living conditions have resulted in ever increasing life expectancy. Yet according to the Organisation Economic Cooperation and Development 2021 Health Indicators, life expectancy in Britain fell from 81.4 years in 2019 to 80.4 years in 2020, as a result of the high number of deaths caused by coronavirus. It is even more startling to consider therefore, that globally, men die on average five years earlier than women, and for reasons that are largely preventable.
Everyone needs some cholesterol, but according to Heart UK over half of UK adults have raised cholesterol, which can lead to heart disease. For many individuals, positive lifestyle changes can make a difference and keep cholesterol levels healthy. But there are other factors that can affect cholesterol levels – including genetics and menopause – and, left unchecked high cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia) may lead to atherosclerosis (the deposition of cholesterol in the walls of arteries) which can reduce the flow of blood to the heart and brain, leading to heart diseases and stroke.
Globally, nations have adopted preventative strategies to mitigate the risk of high cholesterol; in the UK alone over eight million people are routinely prescribed cholesterol lowering drugs (Statins). Given the significant population groups both with high cholesterol and taking prescribed medication it is therefore vital not only for individuals to understand – and check – their cholesterol levels but also for clinicians to understand and track the efficacy of both lifestyle change and medication.
However, according to analysis of The Health Improvement Network (THIN®), a Cegedim database, analysis of the percentage of cholesterol blood tests out of contacts in THIN® by blood test and year between 2017 and 2021 confirms that tests plummeted in March 2020 and have yet to recover to pre-COVID 19 levels.
Which is one of the reasons why this October, during National Cholesterol Month, everyone is being advised to Talk about Cholesterol – and get a simple cholesterol test.
2021 marks the 10th anniversary of the annual ‘Stoptober’ smoking cessation campaign which has, to date, encouraged two million people in the UK to attempt to stop smoking. There are many incentives for eliminating cigarettes - from health to wealth; but in the wake of a global respiratory pandemic, the known respiratory disease risks associated with smoking tobacco have reinforced many individuals’ desires to finally give up smoking.
Around 15 million adults in the UK are estimated to have high blood pressure, but more than one third of those cases go undetected. With pressures on GPs mounting, NHS England has recently announced the role of pharmacies in checking blood pressure. If the goal of checking the blood pressure of 2.5 million more people is achieved, NHS England suggests it could prevent 3,700 strokes and 2,500 heart attacks, saving 2,000 lives, in the next five years.
Individuals are also being encouraged to monitor their own blood pressure readings during Blood Pressure Awareness week. This year’s ‘Know your Numbers!’ week – running from 6th to 12th September – is raising awareness of high blood pressure, encouraging all UK adults to get a blood pressure check.
Screening programmes have become a core strand within NHS disease prevention strategies over recent years – with cervical screening one of the most far reaching. Every year five million women and people with a cervix are invited for screening – and the screening process can prevent up to 75% of instances of cervical cancer, saving 5,000 deaths per year.
However, in common with many routine screening activities, the numbers invited to and attending cervical screening during 2020 dropped. Analysis of The Health Improvement Network (THIN®) a Cegedim database, revealed the percentage of cervical cancer smear tests out of contacts were significantly down in 2020 compared to the average between 2017 and 2019. The numbers plummeted in March 2020 when all non-urgent activity was suspended and very few tests occurred in April or May 2020. However, a year on and attendance for cervical cancer screening has now increased and is now back to pre-pandemic levels.
Every individual has had a different lock-down experience – and for many there has been a notable impact on their mental health. Whether it has been loneliness and isolation, insecurities and fears regarding the financial future, or a lack of familiar routine, lives have been turned upside down. Even as the vaccination programme continues at pace, many questions, concerns and anxieties remain – and, it is becoming clear, there is a very significant section of the male population that is failing to call for help.