Clin Colon Rectal Surg 2019; 32(01): 008-015
DOI: 10.1055/s-0038-1673349
Review Article
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Use of the Rochester Epidemiology Project for Clinical Research in Colon and Rectal Surgery

Amy L. Lightner
1   Department of Colorectal Surgery, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH
Robert Cima
2   Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery, Department of Surgery, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, Minnesota
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
08 January 2019 (online)


The Rochester Epidemiology Project (REP), a longitudinal population-based database, is the largest epidemiologic database in the world. Originally established at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, the REP has been instrumental in defining the natural history of disease states and the impact of treatment in a well-defined population. In the United States, the REP has made important contributions to the colon and rectal literature, largely because healthcare is fragmented with no unique identifier to longitudinally follow-up with a patient throughout the system over his or her lifespan. Investigation with the REP has provided insight to the economic burden associated with inflammatory bowel disease, the benefit of screening for colorectal cancer, and the natural history of Mekel's and diverticular disease. In addition to practice changing research, the REP can be used as a model for future linkage systems in the United States.

  • References

  • 1 St Sauver JL, Grossardt BR, Yawn BP, Melton III LJ, Rocca WA. Use of a medical records linkage system to enumerate a dynamic population over time: the Rochester Epidemiology Project. Am J Epidemiol 2011; 173 (09) 1059-1068
  • 2 Conway PH, VanLare JM. Improving access to health care data: the Open Government strategy. JAMA 2010; 304 (09) 1007-1008
  • 3 Melton III LJ. History of the Rochester Epidemiology Project. Mayo Clin Proc 1996; 71 (03) 266-274
  • 4 Acheson ED. The Oxford Record Linkage Study: a review of the method with some preliminary results. Proc R Soc Med 1964; 57: 269-274
  • 5 Bureau UC. 1980 Census of Population. Volume I: Characteristics of the Population. Washington, DC: US GPO; 1982
  • 6 Gill L, Goldacre M, Simmons H, Bettley G, Griffith M. Computerised linking of medical records: methodological guidelines. J Epidemiol Community Health 1993; 47 (04) 316-319
  • 7 Kendrick SW, Douglas MM, Gardner D, Hucker D. Best-link matching of Scottish health data sets. Methods Inf Med 1998; 37 (01) 64-68
  • 8 Holman CD, Bass AJ, Rouse IL, Hobbs MS. Population-based linkage of health records in Western Australia: development of a health services research linked database. Aust N Z J Public Health 1999; 23 (05) 453-459
  • 9 Dean JM, Vernon DD, Cook L, Nechodom P, Reading J, Suruda A. Probabilistic linkage of computerized ambulance and inpatient hospital discharge records: a potential tool for evaluation of emergency medical services. Ann Emerg Med 2001; 37 (06) 616-626
  • 10 Victor TW, Mera RM. Record linkage of health care insurance claims. J Am Med Inform Assoc 2001; 8 (03) 281-288
  • 11 Rocca WA, Yawn BP, St Sauver JL, Grossardt BR, Melton III LJ. History of the Rochester Epidemiology Project: half a century of medical records linkage in a US population. Mayo Clin Proc 2012; 87 (12) 1202-1213
  • 12 St Sauver JL, Grossardt BR, Leibson CL, Yawn BP, Melton III LJ, Rocca WA. Generalizability of epidemiological findings and public health decisions: an illustration from the Rochester Epidemiology Project. Mayo Clin Proc 2012; 87 (02) 151-160
  • 13 Stonnington CM, Phillips SF, Zinsmeister AR, Melton III LJ. Prognosis of chronic ulcerative colitis in a community. Gut 1987; 28 (10) 1261-1266
  • 14 Loftus Jr EV, Silverstein MD, Sandborn WJ, Tremaine WJ, Harmsen WS, Zinsmeister AR. Ulcerative colitis in Olmsted County, Minnesota, 1940-1993: incidence, prevalence, and survival. Gut 2000; 46 (03) 336-343
  • 15 Loftus CG, Loftus Jr EV, Harmsen WS. , et al. Update on the incidence and prevalence of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis in Olmsted County, Minnesota, 1940-2000. Inflamm Bowel Dis 2007; 13 (03) 254-261
  • 16 Jess T, Simonsen J, Nielsen NM. , et al. Enteric Salmonella or Campylobacter infections and the risk of inflammatory bowel disease. Gut 2011; 60 (03) 318-324
  • 17 Schwartz DA, Loftus Jr EV, Tremaine WJ. , et al. The natural history of fistulizing Crohn's disease in Olmsted County, Minnesota. Gastroenterology 2002; 122 (04) 875-880
  • 18 Loftus Jr EV, Achenbach SJ, Sandborn WJ, Tremaine WJ, Oberg AL, Melton III LJ. Risk of fracture in ulcerative colitis: a population-based study from Olmsted County, Minnesota. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2003; 1 (06) 465-473
  • 19 Loftus Jr EV, Crowson CS, Sandborn WJ, Tremaine WJ, O'Fallon WM, Melton III LJ. Long-term fracture risk in patients with Crohn's disease: a population-based study in Olmsted County, Minnesota. Gastroenterology 2002; 123 (02) 468-475
  • 20 Faubion Jr WA, Loftus Jr EV, Harmsen WS, Zinsmeister AR, Sandborn WJ. The natural history of corticosteroid therapy for inflammatory bowel disease: a population-based study. Gastroenterology 2001; 121 (02) 255-260
  • 21 Thia KT, Sandborn WJ, Harmsen WS, Zinsmeister AR, Loftus Jr EV. Risk factors associated with progression to intestinal complications of Crohn's disease in a population-based cohort. Gastroenterology 2010; 139 (04) 1147-1155
  • 22 Peyrin-Biroulet L, Harmsen WS, Tremaine WJ, Zinsmeister AR, Sandborn WJ, Loftus Jr EV. Surgery in a population-based cohort of Crohn's disease from Olmsted County, Minnesota (1970-2004). Am J Gastroenterol 2012; 107 (11) 1693-1701
  • 23 Holubar SD, Long KH, Loftus Jr EV, Wolff BG, Pemberton JH, Cima RR. Long-term direct costs before and after proctocolectomy for ulcerative colitis: a population-based study in Olmsted County, Minnesota. Dis Colon Rectum 2009; 52 (11) 1815-1823
  • 24 Holubar SD, Pendlimari R, Loftus Jr EV. , et al. Drivers of cost after surgical and medical therapy for chronic ulcerative colitis: a nested case-cohort study in Olmsted County, Minnesota. Dis Colon Rectum 2012; 55 (12) 1258-1265
  • 25 Beard CM, Spencer RJ, Weiland LH, O'Fallon WM, Melton III LJ. Trends in colorectal cancer over a half century in Rochester, Minnesota, 1940 to 1989. Ann Epidemiol 1995; 5 (03) 210-214
  • 26 Beart RW, Melton III LJ, Maruta M, Dockerty MB, Frydenberg HB, O'Fallon WM. Trends in right and left-sided colon cancer. Dis Colon Rectum 1983; 26 (06) 393-398
  • 27 Gupta AK, Melton III LJ, Petersen GM. , et al. Changing trends in the incidence, stage, survival, and screen-detection of colorectal cancer: a population-based study. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2005; 3 (02) 150-158
  • 28 Cullen JJ, Kelly KA, Moir CR, Hodge DO, Zinsmeister AR, Melton III LJ. Surgical management of Meckel's diverticulum. An epidemiologic, population-based study. Ann Surg 1994; 220 (04) 564-568 , discussion 568–569
  • 29 Bharucha AE, Parthasarathy G, Ditah I. , et al. Temporal trends in the incidence and natural history of diverticulitis: a population-based study. Am J Gastroenterol 2015; 110 (11) 1589-1596
  • 30 Walley T, Mantgani A. The UK general practice research database. Lancet 1997; 350 (9084): 1097-1099
  • 31 Roos LL, Menec V, Currie RJ. Policy analysis in an information-rich environment. Soc Sci Med 2004; 58 (11) 2231-2241