The Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) holds primary care electronic healthcare records for 25% of the UK population. CPRD data can be linked via practice postcode in the UK, and additionally via patient postcode in England, to area-level socioeconomic status (SES) data including the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD), the Carstairs Index and the Townsend Deprivation Index; as well as rural–urban classification (RUC). This study aims to describe the completeness and representativeness of CPRD-linked SES and RUC data.
Patients currently registered at general practices contributing data to the May 2021 snapshots of CPRD GOLD (n=445 587) and CPRD Aurum (n=13 278 825) were used to assess the completeness and representativeness of CPRD-linked SES and RUC data against the UK general population.
All currently registered patients had complete SES and RUC data at practice level across the UK. Most English patients in CPRD GOLD (78%), CPRD Aurum (94%) and combined (93%) had SES and RUC data at patient level. Patient-level SES data in CPRD for England were comparable to England’s general population (average IMD decile in CPRD 5.52±0.00 vs 5.50±0.02). CPRD UK practices were on average in more deprived areas than the UK general population (6.06±0.07 vs 5.50±0.02). A slightly higher proportion of CPRD patients and practices were from urban areas (85%) as compared with the UK general population (82%).
Completeness of CPRD-linked SES and RUC data is high. The CPRD populations were broadly representative of the general populations in the UK in terms of SES and RUC.