# Introduction to Event History Analysis DUSTIN BROWN POPULATION RESEARCH CENTER

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1 Introduction to Event History Analysis DUSTIN BROWN POPULATION RESEARCH CENTER

2 Objectives Introduce event history analysis Describe some common survival (hazard) distributions Introduce some useful Stata and SAS commands Discuss practical issues worth keeping in mind

3 Objectives Introduce event history analysis Describe some common survival (hazard) distributions Introduce some useful Stata and SAS commands Discuss practical issues worth keeping in mind

4 What is event history analysis? A set of statistical techniques used to analyze the time it takes an event to occur within a specified time interval Also called survival analysis (demography, biostatistics), reliability analysis (engineering), duration analysis (economics) The basic logic behind these methods is from the life table Types of Events Mortality, Marriage, Fertility, Recidivism, Graduation, Retirement, etc.

5 Basic Concepts in Event History Analysis Events Repeatable vs. Non-Repeatable Single vs. Multiple Exposure to Risk (i.e., Measuring Time) Risk Set Discrete vs. Continuous Time Censoring Hazard & Survival Functions Non-Parametric vs. Semi-Parametric vs. Parametric Distributional Assumptions (Proportionality)

6 Basic Concepts: Different Types of Events Event (the outcome) - A discrete transition between two states Non-Repeatable Events Transition can occur only once (absorbing state) Examples: AAAAA DDDD, NNNNNNNNNNN FFFFF BBBBB Repeatable Events Transition can occur more than once (non-absorbing state) Examples: MMMMMMM DDDDDDDD, HHHHHHH DDDDDDDD Single Events i.e., AAAAA DDDD Multiple Events i.e., AAAAA CCCCCC DDDDDD vv. CCC DDDDDD Methods for competing risks an extension of those for single events

7 Basic Concepts: Time (Exposure, Duration) Time is the core component of event history analysis Risk Set Individuals 1 at risk of experiencing some event Risk exposure occurs in an observation interval (study time) The observation interval is when the clock begins and ends One of two outcomes are possible in the observation interval Failure Event occurs in the interval (i.e., death) Censoring Event does not occur in the interval (i.e., survival) Time usually is measured in discrete units (i.e., years, months) Time theoretically can be measured in (quasi) continuous units (i.e., hours, minutes, seconds) 1 Note that the unit of analysis does not necessarily have to be individuals.

8 Basic Concepts: Time (Exposure, Duration) Source: Blossfeld & Rohwer Techniques of Event History Modeling, 2 nd Ed. (p. 40)

9 Objectives Introduce event history analysis Describe some common survival (hazard) distributions Introduce some useful Stata and SAS commands Discuss a few practical issues worth keeping in mind

10 Basic Concepts: Hazard & Survival Functions Hazard Function Instantaneous probability 2 that an event will occur at time t, conditional that the event has not already occurred. λ t = lim t 0 P t + t > T t T t) t = f(t) S(t) Also called the Hazard Rate or the Force of Mortality With some additional math, you can get the Survival Function S t = eee λλ 2 Note that strictly speaking the hazard rate is a probability only in discrete-time models.

11 Basic Concepts: Hazard & Survival Functions Models impose different distributional assumptions on the hazard Three basic types of hazard (survival) functions are common Each one imposes different amounts of structure on the data The ultimate decision to use one approach over another should be driven by: Your specific research question How well the model fits the actual data Practical concerns i.e., difficulty estimating with available software, interpretability, typical approach in previous research

12 Basic Concepts: Hazard & Survival Functions Non-Parametric Models No assumptions about the baseline hazard distribution Pros: Imposes the least structure, easy to estimate and interpret Cons: Difficult to incorporate predictors (mostly descriptive) Examples: Kaplan-Meier, Nelson-Alan, Classic Life Table Parametric Models Baseline hazard assumed to vary in a specific manner with time Pros: Easy to incorporate covariates, gives baseline hazard to calculate rates, smoothes noisy data Cons: Imposes the most structure, need to be sure that estimated distribution matches the data Examples: Weibull (decrease or increase), Gompertz (exponential increase), Exponential (constant)

13 Basic Concepts: Hazard & Survival Functions Semi-Parametric Models Baseline hazard is not pre-determined, but it must be positive. Pros: Covariates easily incorporated, less structure than parametric, smoothes noisy data Cons: Does not provide the baseline hazard Cannot calculate rates (absolute differences) Can only interpret in terms of relative differentials Any specification errors are absorbed into the coefficients Examples: Cox Proportional Hazards (most popular model) Proportional Hazards Assumption The hazard rate is equivalent over time across groups Cox models must satisfy this assumption Some parametric models - Weibull, Gompertz, Exponential, etc.

14 Objectives Introduce event history analysis Describe some common survival (hazard) distributions Introduce some useful Stata and SAS commands Discuss practical issues worth keeping in mind

15 How To Estimate Hazard Models SAS lifereg (parametric models), phreg (Cox models), lifetest (Kaplan-Meier), other user-written macros available Stata 3 - streg (parametric models), stcox (Cox models), sts test ( Kaplan-Meier ), other specialty packages as.ado files R package survival (parametric and Cox models), KMsurv (Kaplan-Meier), other specialty packages frailpack, etc. SPSS coxreg (Cox models), km (Kaplan-Meier), no parametric models available? 3 You must "stset" the data before estimating survival models in Stata. Type "help st" for details.

16 Stata Example: Exponential Model

17 Stata Example: Cox PH Models

18 SAS Example: Cox Proportional Hazards Model proc phreg data = nhis ; model expos*dead(0) = female age ; run ; Parameter Analysis of Maximum Likelihood Estimates Parameter Standard DF Estimate Error Chi-Square Pr > ChiSq Hazard Ratio lths < hs < scol < female < age <

19 Objectives Introduce event history analysis Describe some common survival (hazard) distributions Introduce some useful Stata and SAS commands Discuss a few practical issues worth keeping in mind

20 Other Issues: Data Structure The data structure has important substantive implications The models shown here were estimated on individual-level data Models estimated on person-period data can be used to answer other substantive questions. Easy to calculate various life table functions - central death rates (m x ), probabilities of death (q x ), etc. Easy to incorporate time-varying covariates (age, etc.)

21 Other Issues: Alternative Models Always test model assumptions, evaluate model fit, etc. Compare how well various models fit the data Fit statistics - BIC, AIC, etc. Fitted vs. Observed values Do the distributions overlap? Proportionality assumption (proportional hazards models) Other approaches often yield equivalent results Count models - Poisson models, Negative Binomial models, etc. Logistic Regression Similar to Cox models, especially when few observations are censored

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