Prediction in censored survival data: a comparison of the proportional hazards and linear regression models

Biometrics. 1992 Mar;48(1):101-15.


Although the analysis of censored survival data using the proportional hazards and linear regression models is common, there has been little work examining the ability of these estimators to predict time to failure. This is unfortunate, since a predictive plot illustrating the relationship between time to failure and a continuous covariate can be far more informative regarding the risk associated with the covariate than a Kaplan-Meier plot obtained by discretizing the variable. In this paper the predictive power of the Cox (1972, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Series B 34, 187-202) proportional hazards estimator and the Buckley-James (1979, Biometrika 66, 429-436) censored regression estimator are compared. Using computer simulations and heuristic arguments, it is shown that the choice of method depends on the censoring proportion, strength of the regression, the form of the censoring distribution, and the form of the failure distribution. Several examples are provided to illustrate the usefulness of the methods.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Biometry
  • Hodgkin Disease / mortality
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Hairy Cell / mortality
  • Linear Models
  • Models, Statistical*
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Regression Analysis
  • Survival Analysis*