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Allowing access to over
100,000 procedures and
50,000 de-identified records

Duke and SAS to open giant heart disease research database

by Christina Hwang , Contributing Reporter
Researchers looking to gather information on heart disease will soon be able to access a treasure trove of data provided by Duke University Health System, thanks to a partnership between Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI) and SAS Health Analytics.

The cardiovascular data is part of the Duke Databank for Cardiovascular Disease, and features de-identified records of over 50,000 patients from 1969 to 2013 and more than 100,000 procedures. The patient information includes patient demographics, cardiac medical history, other conditions that occurred simultaneously, final impressions, and treatments.

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The provided information will be used to test clinical hypotheses, develop clinical trial protocols and help researchers assess long-term outcomes and time trends, according to the announcement.

“SAS will be making this data available in an SAS-hosted environment that enables researchers to access relevant data through approved research requests,” Matt Gross, director of the SAS health care and life sciences global practice, told HCB News. “Researchers [can] write, run, and save analytic programs, and collaborate as part of a team to produce outputs that can be used for publications in clinical journals.”

SAS has also hosted de-identified clinical trial data from pharmaceutical companies that is accessible for research with DCRI’s data, along with other institutes, and according to Michael Pencina, Ph.D., director of biostatistics at DCRI, more patient information will be available depending on use, interest and needs of the researchers.

“We have known for some time that opening clinical trial is essential to improving how we design and execute future trials, and in turn, improving patient care,” Pencina told HCB News. “We are excited to see how researchers will make use of this data to build upon previous work.”

The collaboration between DCRI and SAS is part of a larger initiative titled Supporting Open Access for Researchers (SOAR) that aims to open the sharing of clinical trial data to researchers with the ultimate goal of improving patient care and informing the science community.

DCRI currently has more than one million patients enrolled in their studies, and publishes more than 400 articles each year in peer-reviewed journals.

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