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Custom Concept Ancestor

Would it be possible or advisable to create concept_relationships and concept_ancestors between custom and standard concepts? We want to create a new concept that is more specific than the existing standard concepts but want this custom concept to be a part of the existing heiarchy

For example, lets say we wanted to add a custom concept that was a more specific version of “Abrasion, lower leg”. Could we make this new concept a child of “Abrasion, lower leg” so we it would be a part of the concept hierarchy?

Welcome to OHDSI @GopherData !

Custom concepts should always be mapped to standard concept_ids in the Concept Relationship table. Standard concepts are how we do research in the OHDSI community.

The maintenance on keeping custom concepts in the correct position of a Concept Ancestor table hierarchy might be very high. What’s your use case? What are you trying to solve? At University of Colorado, we went down this path about 5 years ago and have since abandoned it. It sounded like a good idea, but didn’t prove useful. Instead, we have created concept sets and/or phenotypes for ideas of interest.

@MPhilofsky means the University of Colorado. There is no Colorado University, at least not in Colorado.

Fixed :slight_smile:

I’m on the ETL side so I can’t give you the exact scenario but I’ll try another example to see if it helps.

For example, take concept ID 21057280 Multivitamin preparation Oral Tablet [NatraVits Vitamin B Complex]. It has multiple relationships and ancestors that could be used for analysis. What if we had a new vitamin just like the example I provided but from a different brand, but no concept existed for that new brand? Could I create a custom concept for that new brand (concept id > 2 billion) then create custom relationships and ancestors so I could do analysis the same way I could with the multivitamin example I provided? Hopefully that makes sense.

My initial thoughts were that maintaining the concept ancestor table would be a headache so thanks for that.


In this particular example, you would let the OMOP Vocabulary team know it is missing from the Concept table. But I get the gist of your example :slight_smile:

I don’t think it is necessary or particularly helpful to add custom concepts to Concept Ancestor for CDM research. Besides the fact it would be a huge lift to initially add these to Concept Ancestor and once it’s there maintenance might become unmanageable, I don’t see how this would enable or facilitate research. Don’t do it, it’s not advisable :slight_smile:

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Hello, @GopherData

I can agree with you and Melanie. Maintaining and even building your own concept ancestor would be a headache.

But you can definitely create relationships for your custom concepts in the concept_relationship table. It is much easier and may help you in your use case.