Article

Estimation of the 2-sample hazard ratio function using a semiparametric model.

Office of Biostatistics Research, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.
Biostatistics (Impact Factor: 2.43). 04/2011; 12(2):354-68. DOI: 10.1093/biostatistics/kxq061
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The hazard ratio provides a natural target for assessing a treatment effect with survival data, with the Cox proportional hazards model providing a widely used special case. In general, the hazard ratio is a function of time and provides a visual display of the temporal pattern of the treatment effect. A variety of nonproportional hazards models have been proposed in the literature. However, available methods for flexibly estimating a possibly time-dependent hazard ratio are limited. Here, we investigate a semiparametric model that allows a wide range of time-varying hazard ratio shapes. Point estimates as well as pointwise confidence intervals and simultaneous confidence bands of the hazard ratio function are established under this model. The average hazard ratio function is also studied to assess the cumulative treatment effect. We illustrate corresponding inference procedures using coronary heart disease data from the Women's Health Initiative estrogen plus progestin clinical trial.

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    ABSTRACT: For time-to-event data, when the hazards are non-proportional, in addition to the hazard ratio, the absolute risk reduction and the restricted mean survival difference can be used to describe the time-dependent treatment effect. The absolute risk reduction measures the direct impact of the treatment on event rate or survival, and the restricted mean survival difference provides a way to evaluate the cumulative treatment effect. However, in the literature, available methods are limited for flexibly estimating these measures and making inference on them. In this article, point estimates, pointwise confidence intervals and simultaneous confidence bands of the absolute risk reduction and the restricted mean survival difference are established under a semiparametric model that can be used in a sufficiently wide range of applications. These methods are motivated by and illustrated for data from the Women's Health Initiative estrogen plus progestin clinical trial.
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