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Large-Scale Epidemiologic Studies of Cardiovascular Diseases in China: Need for Improved Data Collection, Methods, Transparency, and Documentation

Authors:

Hui Qu,

Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation, Yale—New Haven Hospital, New Haven, CT; Section of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT; Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT, US
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Yuan Lu,

Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation, Yale—New Haven Hospital, New Haven, CT; Section of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, US
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Emily Gudbranson,

Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation, Yale—New Haven Hospital, New Haven, CT; Section of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT; Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, US
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Emily M. Bucholz,

Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation, Yale—New Haven Hospital, New Haven, CT; Section of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT; Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MA, US
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Si Xuan,

Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation, Yale—New Haven Hospital, New Haven, CT; Section of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT; Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT, US
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Frederick A. Masoudi,

University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and the Colorado Cardiovascular Outcomes Research Consortium, Denver, CO, US
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John A. Spertus,

Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute/University of Missouri—Kansas City, Kansas City, MO, US
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Xin Zheng,

National Clinical Research Center of Cardiovascular Diseases, State Key Laboratory of Cardiovascular Disease, Fuwai Hospital, National Center for Cardiovascular Diseases, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, CN
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Jing Li,

National Clinical Research Center of Cardiovascular Diseases, State Key Laboratory of Cardiovascular Disease, Fuwai Hospital, National Center for Cardiovascular Diseases, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, CN
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Harlan M. Krumholz

Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation, Yale—New Haven Hospital, New Haven, CT; Section of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT; The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program, Department of Internal Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT; Department of Health Policy and Management, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT, US
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Abstract

With the advent of international precision medicine initiatives, it is important to evaluate existing large-scale studies to inform future investigation. This study sought to review, describe, and evaluate all large-scale cardiovascular disease (CVD) studies completed in China. We undertook a review of all large-scale CVD studies completed in China to describe and evaluate their design, implementation, and dissemination in published medical reports. Seventeen studies met the inclusion criteria. There were substantial variations in study design, geographic location, and data collection. Most studies lacked standard study names, did not publish their methods, and provided no publicly available data. Few studies included underdeveloped regions or minority groups. Most published articles contained only descriptions of the average population at risk of CVD, and no study predicted individual CVD risk or identified people at high risk. Future CVD studies in China may need to incorporate stronger systematic data collection methods, increased data transparency, clearer documentation, and standard study names to most gain from China's burgeoning field of CVD research.

Highlights

  • In seeking large epidemiologic studies of CVD and its risk factors in China, 17 large-scale studies with populations of approximately 100,000 or more were identified. Substantial variation existed in study design, geographic location, follow-up length, funding sources, and data collection methods.
  • A majority of the studies lacked standard study names and did not publish method papers, and most provided no publicly available data or public data acquisition procedures, which hindered the systematic identification, collection, and evaluation of accurate information regarding study design and methodology.
  • Few studies enrolled participants from underdeveloped regions, migrant workers, young people, or minority groups.
  • Most of the published articles contained only descriptions of the average population at risk of CVD, and no study predicted individual CVD risk or identified people at high risk.
  • Stronger systematic data collection methods, increased data transparency, clearer documentation, and standard study names might be incorporated in order to gain the most from the devoted effort from both researchers and participants.
How to Cite: Qu H, Lu Y, Gudbranson E, Bucholz EM, Xuan S, Masoudi FA, et al.. Large-Scale Epidemiologic Studies of Cardiovascular Diseases in China: Need for Improved Data Collection, Methods, Transparency, and Documentation. Global Heart. 2018;13(1):3–12. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.gheart.2017.07.002
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Published on 01 Mar 2018.
Peer Reviewed

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