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Using association and overlapping time window approach to detect drug reaction signals
conference contributionposted on 2005-12-01, 00:00 authored by S Ivkovic, G Saunders, R Ghosh, John YearwoodJohn Yearwood
The problem with detecting adverse drug reactions (ADRs) from drugs is that they may not be obvious until long after they are widely prescribed. Part of the problem is these events are rare. This work describes an approach to signal detection of ADRs based on association rules (AR) in Australian drug safety data. This work was carried out using the Australian Adverse Drug Reactions Advisory Committee (ADRAC) database, which contains a hundred and thirty seven thousand records collected in 1972-2001 period. Many signal detection methods have been developed for drug safety data, most of which use a classical statistical approach. Some of these stratify the data using an ontology for reactions, but the application of drug ontologies to ADR signal detection methods has not been reported. We propose a novel approach for detecting various signal levels by using an overlapped windowing approach. The overlapping windows help to detect smooth transition of signal. We use association rules for measuring significant change over time for different hierarchical levels of drugs (using the Anatomical-Therapeutic-Chemical (ATC) system of drug classification ontology) and their reactions based on the System Organ Classes (SOC) ontology. Using association rules and their strength for different levels in the drug and reaction hierarchy, helps in the detection of signals at particular levels in higher order using a bottom up approach. The results of a preliminary investigation of ADRAC data using our method demonstrate that this approach could produce a powerful and robust ADR signal detection method. © 2005 IEEE.