Time Scales in Epidemiological Analysis: An Empirical Comparison

Prabhakar Chalise, Eric Chicken, Daniel McGee
2016 International Journal of Statistics and Probability  
The Cox proportional hazards model is routinely used to analyze time-to-event data. This model requires the definition of a unique well-defined time scale. Most often, observation time is used as the time scale for both clinical and observational studies. Recently after a suggestion that it may be a more appropriate scale, chronological age has begun to appear as the time scale used in some reports. There appears to be no general consensus about which time scale is appropriate for any given
more » ... ysis. It has been suggested that if the baseline hazard is exponential or if the age-at-entry is independent of covariates used in the model, then the two time scales provide similar results. In this report we provide an empirical examination of the results using the two different time scales using a large collection of data sets to examine the relationship between systolic blood pressure and coronary heart disease death. We demonstrate, in this empirical example that the two time-scales can sometimes lead to differing regression coefficient estimates but time-on-study model has better predictive ability in general.
doi:10.5539/ijsp.v5n3p91 fatcat:kzja256wdreolfxifxmo5ex5cq