Survival analysis and regression models
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Time-to-event outcomes are common in medical research as they offer more information than simply whether or not an event occurred. To handle these outcomes, as well as censored observations where the event was not observed during follow-up, survival analysis methods should be used. Kaplan-Meier estimation can be used to create graphs of the observed survival curves, while the log-rank test can be used to compare curves from different groups. If it is desired to test continuous predictors or to test multiple covariates at once, survival regression models such as the Cox model or the accelerated failure time model (AFT) should be used. The choice of model should depend on whether or not the assumption of the model (proportional hazards for the Cox model, a parametric distribution of the event times for the AFT model) is met. The goal of this paper is to review basic concepts of survival analysis. Discussions relating the Cox model and the AFT model will be provided. The use and interpretation of the survival methods model are illustrated using an artificially simulated dataset.
KeywordsSurvival analysis Cox proportional hazards model accelerated failure time model
We would like to thank Dr Edsel Pena and Dr Fadi Hage for their valuable comments and suggestions.