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Table 3 Suggested linkage cycles/iterations

From: Validation of de-identified record linkage to ascertain hospital admissions in a cohort study

  Linkage Variables Records
linked
Records
remaining
Iteration Medicare8 1 + Medsuf1 2 group  
1-4 Medicare8+Medsuf1+Yearbirth+Monthbirth+Daybirth+Sex+COB+ Postcodes1-4 1594 406
5-16 Repeat steps 1-4 using 3 different variations of Medsuf1 8 398
17 Repeat step 1 dropping postcode 23 375
18-21 Repeat steps 1-4 dropping COB 7 368
22-25 Repeat steps 1-4 dropping sex 1 367
26-29 Repeat steps 1-4 dropping day of birth 19 348
30-33 Repeat steps 1-4 dropping month of birth 2 346
34-37 Repeat steps 1-4 dropping year of birth 17 329
38-100 Repeat steps 5-16, dropping 1 variable 0 329
101-141 Repeat steps 1-4 dropping two demographic variables 4 325
  Medicare8 group
142-145 Medicare8+Yearbirth+Monthbirth+Daybirth+Sex+COB+ Postcodes 1-4 24 301
146-166 Repeat steps 142-145 dropping 1 variable 2 299
  Medsuf1 Group
167-170 Medsuf1+Yearbirth+Monthbirth+Daybirth+Sex+COB+ Postcodes 1-4 39 260
Total records linked = 1740/2000 = 87%
  1. 1 First 8 digits of the Medicare number; 2 First 3 letters of the first name