Analysing and interpreting competing risk data

Stat Med. 2007 Mar 15;26(6):1360-7. doi: 10.1002/sim.2655.


When competing risks are present, two types of analysis can be performed: modelling the cause specific hazard and modelling the hazard of the subdistribution. This paper contrasts these two methods and presents the benefits of each. The interpretation is specific to the analysis performed. When modelling the cause specific hazard, one performs the analysis under the assumption that the competing risks do not exist. This could be beneficial when, for example, the main interest is whether the treatment works in general. In modelling the hazard of the subdistribution, one incorporates the competing risks in the analysis. This analysis compares the observed incidence of the event of interest between groups. The latter analysis is specific to the structure of the observed data and it can be generalized only to another population with similar competing risks.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Causality
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical*
  • Humans
  • Ontario
  • Proportional Hazards Models*
  • Risk Assessment / statistics & numerical data*