As 2023 draws to a close and we reflect on a busy and exciting year for Truveta, something that stands out is the breadth and depth of research Truveta Research has been able to produce using Truveta Data and Truveta Studio.

From studying new Alzheimer’s disease treatments and associated genetic testing to racial disparities in maternal health outcomes, to prescribing trends across different medications for different conditions, to a first-of-its-kind comparative effectiveness study on weight loss related to Ozempic and Mounjaro, Truveta Research has provided concrete examples of the various types of research possible with Truveta, and has brought us closer to achieving our mission of Saving Lives with Data.

Here, we’ll look at some of Truveta Research’s greatest hits of 2023.

COVID health equity study finds disparities in care

Fall/Winter 2022-2023: Health equity disparities in COVID-19 treatments

Over a year ago, Truveta Research published a series of insights that uncovered health disparities in COVID-19-related hospitalizations. First, they studied which demographics across age, race, and sex were being hospitalized the most. Then, they explored whether hospitalization stays shortened over time as the pandemic went on. Finally, they looked across these datasets to evaluate whether COVID-19 hospitalization stay lengths varied based on race, sex, and age. Then, in January, their peer-reviewed findings were published in the public health journal Frontiers.

In the spring, Truveta Research published another peer-reviewed COVID-19 study in Vaccine, related to the risk of COVID-19 breakthrough injections and hospitalizations for patients with comorbidities including chronic kidney disease, chronic lung disease, diabetes, or an immunocompromised state.

maternal health study shows disparities in treatment for preeclampsia

February 2023: Maternal heart health & health equity research

In February, to honor Heart Month and Black History Month, Truveta Research published insights related to heart failure associated with preeclampsia in pregnant and post-partum women across races and ethnicities. While many studies have examined maternal mortality in the US, this analysis focused on identifying demographics at greater risk of poor outcomes – namely Black women. Our lead researcher on this project, Dr. Charlotte Baker, discussed the research on LinkedIn Live and was also featured in a New York Times piece on maternal mortality:

Women who had pre-eclampsia when they delivered are also at high risk of developing heart failure after childbirth, and Black women are at double the risk of white women, according to new findings by Truveta Research, the research arm of Truveta, a for-profit collective of health systems that uses de-identified patient data for research.

Though the reasons for the disparity are not known, some may be caused by unequal access to care and by the failure of care givers to listen when women report unusual symptoms, Dr. Charlotte Baker, Truveta’s director of epidemiology, said. Dr. Baker lost a friend to the condition just months after the friend gave birth.

“My friend had complained multiple times to her physicians, but they brushed her off,” she said.

This research is now available as a pre-print on MedRxiv and expanded to include those with disabilities as well.

APOE testing for Alzheimer's disease and rates of new prescriptions for lecanemab (Leqembi)

April 2023: Alzheimer’s APOE genetic testing study for Reuters

In the spring, Reuters journalist Julie Steenhuysen reached out to Truveta Research to see if they could provide data for a story she was working on, as she hadn’t been able to find any relevant data on the topic due to its recency and its dependence upon genetic testing. Steenhuysen’s story was related to a new Alzheimer’s Disease treatment called lecanemab (Leqembi), and the recommended genetic testing recommended for patients to undergo before beginning the treatment, as patients with a certain genetic variant showed increased adverse side effects in a clinical trial. When the Reuters piece ran, Truveta Research’s findings were featured prominently into the narrative:

Testing for the APOE4 gene variant among Americans being treated for Alzheimer’s has more than doubled from a year ago, an exclusive analysis of medical records for Reuters by health data firm Truveta found. The increase was driven by the new treatments that promise to slow the progression of the disease, but also carry risks, especially for people like Nelson carrying two copies of APOE4.

Truveta Research’s full insights on increases in APOE genetic testing related to Alzheimer’s Disease were published to our blog. Recent updates on the genetic testing trends and the new uptick in lecanemab prescriptions were also presented this fall at ISPOR Europe in Copenhagen.

Learn more about the data we have available on patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

impact of opioid crisis on babies in the US

April 2023: Study on the opioid crisis effects on babies for WSJ

The opioid epidemic has been a hot topic in the US over the last few years, with the CDC reporting in 2022 that 187 people die every day in the US from opioid overdoses. So this spring, Truveta Research worked with The Wall Street Journal to study the effects of the opioid crisis on babies who are born dependent on these drugs. From the WSJ piece:

The number of newborns in opioid withdrawal has risen in recent years as illicit fentanyl has supercharged the potency of the illicit drug market. About six in 1,000 babies have been born drug-dependent in each year since 2017, according to an analysis from healthcare-data company Truveta. The rate in 2009 was half that, federal data show.

Read the full set of insights Truveta Research uncovered on the effects of the opioid epidemic on babies.

speech delay increase in children under age of 5 following the pandemic

May 2023: Speech delays in kids during the pandemic

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, questions still linger about the impact of quarantining and social distancing on kids’ development. One question that Truveta Research was able to answer, though, focused on speech delays in young children.

Their insights on this topic were included in a Wall Street Journal piece in May:

In an analysis of nearly 2.5 million children younger than 5 years old, researchers at health-analytics company Truveta found that for each year of age, first-time speech delay diagnoses increased by an average of 1.6 times between 2018-19 and 2021-22. The highest increase was among 1-year-olds, the researchers said.

Truveta Principal Research Analyst Brianna Cartwright explained how the team was able to generate these findings, and the study was recently published in JAMA Pediatrics.

prescription trends and medication adherence

August 2023: Medication adherence and prescription trend studies

Prescriptions can play a huge role in patient outcomes, so data related to prescriptions – such as prescription fills, medication adherence, and prescribing rates for certain drugs – can indicate to medical providers and researchers how patients may fare. In August, medication dispense data was added to Truveta Data, and Truveta Research took it for a spin with a series of three insights centered around medication adherence:

Truveta Research also explored prescribing trends in a few cases this year. First, they focused on prescribing patterns of two commonly-prescribed SGLT2i drugs, Jardiance and Farxiga, and the demographics and comorbidities that make type 2 diabetes patients more likely to receive one or the other, even with data in the month that Farxiga was also approved to also treat heart failure.

Then they examined on- and off-label prescribing trends around popular weight loss injectables Wegovy, Ozempic, and Mounjaro, which is also available as a pre-print on MedRxiv.

hospitalization trends for COVID, RSV, flu, parainfluenza, rhinovirus, HMPV

Fall 2023: Respiratory viruses monitoring report

For the second year in a row, Truveta Research has been hard at work publishing regular monitoring reports on common respiratory viruses throughout the fall and winter. These reports examine the six most common respiratory viruses – including COVID-19, the flu, and RSV – and their rates of hospitalizations across various demographics.

With fall and winter holiday gatherings, many people have questions about infection rates in their area and need data like this to decide whether to mask, social distance, or stay home. Insights related to the monitoring report have been reported on by outlets such as POPSUGAR.

Truveta Research also published a COVID-19-specific insight based on monitoring report findings this summer, and two of our staff MDs provided guidance to the public on the best ways to stay healthy and avoid COVID-19 and RSV in a blog post in late September.

comparison of treatments for pulmonary embolism

October 2023: REAL-PE study on pulmonary embolism treatment

During October’s interventional cardiology conference TCT, Ascension Health interventional cardiologist Peter Monteleone, MD shared new Truveta Data about the treatment of patients with pulmonary embolism, a first-of-its-kind, peer-reviewed data analysis that found that patients treated with Boston Scientific’s EKOS™ Endovascular System (EKOS) had lower rates of adverse events, including statistically significant lower rates of major bleeding, within seven days following their procedure compared to the Inari FlowTriever® System.

Dr. Monteleone, along with researchers from Truveta and other organizations, published these findings in JSCAI. The work was covered in trade publications like Cardiovascular News.

comparison of Ozempic and Mounjaro for weight loss for those with overweight or obesity

November 2023: Weight loss among patients on Mounjaro vs. Ozempic

In November, Truveta Research released one of its most ground-breaking studies to-date, a comparative effectiveness study comparing weight loss in patients with overweight or obesity taking Mounjaro vs. Ozempic.

The study showed that patients taking Mounjaro are up to three times more likely to lose weight.

Given the popularity of these injectables for their weight loss effects, this study was widely covered in the media, appearing on The TODAY Show, CNBC, CNBC Fast Money, com, CNN, Scripps News, and more.