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Approved research

Development of an algorithm to classify Primary Care Electronic Health Records of alcohol consumption in Scotland.

Principal Investigator: Dr Amaya Azcoaga-Lorenzo
Approved Research ID: 51745
Approval date: November 4th 2019

Lay summary

It is well known that drinking too much alcohol causes health problems. It is more difficult to know whether moderate drinking causes significant problems and it is difficult to study this for the whole population. One of the main difficulties when trying to understand this issue is the problem of measuring accurately how much people drink. Most of the people declare to drink less than they actually do when they participate in surveys. We will compare data from GP records about alcohol consumption with measures of alcohol consumption declared by participants in the UK Biobank cohort. If the results suggest GP records are accurate we will be able to study the effects of moderate levels of alcohol use in the whole population attending general practice. Information collected by GPs can be linked to other sources to better understand the effect of alcohol consumption. Access to GPs records is easier and cheaper than conducting a survey. This research will help to identify the areas where more alcohol is consumed and to allocate resources for those more in need