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Survival Analysis Using SAS®: A Practical Guide by Paul D. Allison

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The Life-Table Method

If the number of observations is large and if event times are precisely measured, there will be many unique event times. The KM method then produces long tables that may be unwieldy for presentation and interpretation. You can avoid this problem with the life-table method because event times are grouped into intervals that can be as long or short as you please. In addition, the life-table method (also known as the actuarial method) can produce estimates and plots of the hazard function, which are not available in PROC LIFETEST with the KM method. The downside to the life-table method is that the choice of intervals is usually somewhat arbitrary, leading to arbitrariness in the results and possible uncertainty about how ...

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