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Stat Med. 2007 Oct 30;26(24):4505-19.

Analyzing survival curves at a fixed point in time.

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Division of Biostatistics, Medical College of Wisconsin, 8701 Watertown Plank Road, Milwaukee, WI 53226, USA.


A common problem encountered in many medical applications is the comparison of survival curves. Often, rather than comparison of the entire survival curves, interest is focused on the comparison at a fixed point in time. In most cases, the naive test based on a difference in the estimates of survival is used for this comparison. In this note, we examine the performance of alternatives to the naive test. These include tests based on a number of transformations of the survival function and a test based on a generalized linear model for pseudo-observations. The type I errors and power of these tests for a variety of sample sizes are compared by a Monte Carlo study. We also discuss how these tests may be extended to situations where the data are stratified. The pseudo-value approach is also applicable in more detailed regression analysis of the survival probability at a fixed point in time. The methods are illustrated on a study comparing survival for autologous and allogeneic bone marrow transplants.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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