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Table 1 Example data: this hypothetical example table is used to illustrate a number of concepts that we use throughout our analysis

From: Evaluating the risk of patient re-identification from adverse drug event reports

  Identifying variable Quasi-identifiers Sensitive variables Other variables
ID Name Telephone number Sex Year of birth Lab test Lab result Paydelay
1 John Smith (412) 688-5468 Male 1959 Albumin, Serum 4.8 37
2 Alan Smith (413) 822-5074 Male 1969 Creatine kinase 86 36
3 Alice Brown (416) 886-5314 Female 1955 Alkaline Phosphatase 66 52
4 Hercules Green (613) 763-5254 Male 1959 Bilirubin Negative 36
5 Alicia Freds (613) 586-6222 Female 1942 BUN/Creatinine Ratio 17 82
6 Gill Stringer (954) 699-5423 Female 1975 Calcium, Serum 9.2 34
7 Marie Kirkpatrick (416) 786-6212 Female 1966 Free Thyroxine Index 2.7 23
8 Leslie Hall (905) 668-6581 Female 1987 Globulin, Total 3.5 9
9 Douglas Henry (416) 423-5965 Male 1959 B-type natriuretic peptide 134.1 38
10 Fred Thompson (416) 421-7719 Male 1967 Creatine kinase 80 21
11 Joe Doe (705) 727-7808 Male 1968 Alanine aminotransferase 24 33
12 Lillian Barley (416) 695-4669 Female 1955 Cancer antigen 125 86 28
13 Deitmar Plank (416) 603-5526 Male 1967 Creatine kinase 327 37
14 Anderson Hoyt (905) 388-2851 Male 1967 Creatine kinase 82 16
15 Alexandra Knight (416) 539-4200 Female 1966 Creatinine 0.78 44
16 Helene Arnold (519) 631-0587 Female 1955 Triglycerides 147 59
17 Almond Zipf (519) 515-8500 Male 1967 Creatine kinase 73 20
18 Britney Goldman (613) 737-7870 Female 1956 Monocytes 12 34
19 Lisa Marie (902) 473-2383 Female 1956 HDL Cholesterol 68 141
20 William Cooper (905) 763-6852 Male 1978 Neutrophils 83 21
21 Kathy Last (705) 424-1266 Female 1966 Prothrombin Time 16.9 23
22 Deitmar Plank (519) 831-2330 Male 1967 Creatine kinase 68 16
23 Anderson Hoyt (705) 652-6215 Male 1971 White Blood Cell Count 13.0 151
24 Alexandra Knight (416) 813-5873 Female 1954 Hemoglobin 14.8 34
25 Helene Arnold (705) 663-1801 Female 1977 Lipase, Serum 37 27
26 Anderson Heft (416) 813-6498 Male 1944 Cholesterol, Total 147 18
27 Almond Zipf (617) 667-9540 Male 1965 Hematocrit 45.3 53