Background: In Japan, several large healthcare databases have become available for research since the early 2000's. However, validation studies to examine the accuracy of these databases remain scarce. We conducted a validation study in order to estimate the positive predictive value (PPV) of local or ICD-10 codes for acute myocardial infarction (AMI) in Japanese claims. In particular, we examined whether the PPV differs between claims in the Diagnosis Procedure Combination case mix scheme (DPC claims) and in non-DPC claims. Methods: We selected a random sample of 200 patients from all patients hospitalized at a large tertiary-care university hospital between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2011 who had an inpatient claim assigned a local or ICD-10 code for AMI. We used a standardized data abstraction form to collect the relevant information from an electronic medical records system. Abstracted information was then categorized by a single cardiologist as being either definite or not having AMI. Results: In a random sample of 200 patients, the average age was 67.7 years and the proportion of males was 78.0%. The PPV of the local or ICD-10 code for AMI was 82.5% in this sample of 200 patients. Further, of 178 patients who had an ICD-10 code for AMI based on any of the 7 types of condition codes in the DPC claims, the PPV was 89.3%, whereas of the 161 patients who had an ICD-10 code for AMI based on any of 3 major types of condition codes in the DPC claims, the PPV was 93.8%. Conclusion: The PPV of the local or ICD-10 code for AMI was high for inpatient claims in Japan. The PPV was even higher for the ICD-10 code for AMI for those patients who received AMI care through the DPC case mix scheme. The current study was conducted in a single center, suggesting that a multi-center study involving different types of hospitals is needed in the future. The accuracy of condition codes for DPC claims in Japan may also be worth examining for conditions other than AMI such as stroke.
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