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Invited Commentary |

Nationwide Population Science Lessons From the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database

Ann W. Hsing, PhD1,2,3; John P. A. Ioannidis, MD, DSc2,3,4,5
[+] Author Affiliations
1Cancer Prevention Institute of California, Fremont
2Stanford Cancer Institute, School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, California
3Department of Health Research and Policy, School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, California
4Stanford Prevention Research Center, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, California
5Department of Statistics, School of Humanities and Sciences Stanford University, Stanford, California
JAMA Intern Med. 2015;175(9):1527-1529. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.3540.
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Large population-based studies can inform us on the prevalence, incidence, natural history, treatment, correlates, and associations of disease, as well as the pattern of health care utilization. A special type of large population study encompasses the population of an entire nation. Advantages include enormous sample size and lack of selection and participation bias. These advantages are enhanced further when the databases are rich in clinical, personal, and risk factor information and when different pieces of information are linked to permit joint analysis. Once the process for data accessing is established, vast amounts of information can be obtained at minimal cost, especially when additional collection and update of information is carried out routinely for purposes inherent in medical care and/or insurance coverage and reimbursement.

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