Relative survival analysis in R

Comput Methods Programs Biomed. 2006 Mar;81(3):272-8. doi: 10.1016/j.cmpb.2006.01.004. Epub 2006 Feb 28.


Relative survival techniques are used to compare the survival experience in a study cohort with the one expected should they follow the background population mortality rates. The techniques are especially useful when the cause-specific death information is not accurate or not available since they provide a measure of excess mortality in a group of patients with a certain disease. There are several approaches to modeling relative survival, but there is no widely used statistical package that would incorporate the relevant techniques. The existing software was mostly written by the authors of different methods, in different computer languages and with different requirements for the data input, which makes it almost impossible for a user to choose between available models. We describe our R package relsurv that provides functions for easy and flexible fitting of several relative survival regression models.

MeSH terms

  • Cohort Studies
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Humans
  • Models, Statistical
  • Programming Languages
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Regression Analysis
  • Research Design
  • Software*
  • Survival Analysis*
  • Survival Rate*