Hi OHDSI folks
Suppose there exists some disease D.
It has been reported that D has been increasing in incidence over the last 20 years.
As part of my network characterization study, I have been focusing on characterizing patients with disease D.
I have access to multiple different datasets that contain patient data over varying year intervals throughout the 20 year window in which the incidence of D was increasing.
When I characterize these patients in these datasets, I look at variables such as their age, gender, race, etc.
Some questions I have concerning this trend in incidence during my characterization study is:
How necessary is it for me to somehow control for this increasing trend in incidence of disease D?
Across the datasets, would it be best to:
Examine all patients across all years that are available and not give much care to incidence effects?
Group patients by year for characterization to account for this increase in incidence?
Only use patients from datasets who are in the same year windows for which data is collected?
I know that year does not have a causal effect on disease D, but I do know that the incidence of D does appear correlated with time in general.
Any thoughts on how I should best handle these concerns I have?
P.S. I am not a epidemiologist by training so I apologize if I am using vocabulary wrong here.
Please ask questions and I am happy to clarify where needed!