Journal Article

The analysis of competing events like cause-specific mortality—beware of the Kaplan-Meier method

Marion Verduijn, Diana C. Grootendorst, Friedo W. Dekker, Kitty J. Jager and Saskia le Cessie

in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

Published on behalf of European Renal Association - European Dialysis and Transplant Assoc

Volume 26, issue 1, pages 56-61
Published in print January 2011 | ISSN: 0931-0509
Published online November 2010 | e-ISSN: 1460-2385 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ndt/gfq661
The analysis of competing events like cause-specific mortality—beware of the Kaplan-Meier method

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Kaplan–Meier analysis is a popular method used for analysing time-to-event data. In case of competing event analyses such as that of cardiovascular and non-cardiovascular mortality, however, the Kaplan–Meier method profoundly overestimates the cumulative mortality probabilities for each of the separate causes of death. This article provides an introduction to the problem of competing events in Kaplan–Meier analysis. It explains cumulative incidence competing risk analysis and demonstrates on a cohort of elderly dialysis patients that, in contrast to the Kaplan–Meier method, application of this method yields unbiased estimates of the cumulative probabilities for cause-specific mortality.

Keywords: cardiovascular mortality; epidemiology; Kaplan–Meier; survival analysis

Journal Article.  3961 words. 

Subjects: Nephrology

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