A Bayesian analysis of doubly censored data using a hierarchical Cox model

Wei Zhang, Kathryn Chaloner, Mary Kathryn Cowles, Ying Zhang, Jack T. Stapleton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Two common statistical problems in pooling survival data from several studies are addressed. The first problem is that the data are doubly censored in that the origin is interval censored and the endpoint event may be right censored. Two approaches to incorporate the uncertainty of interval-censored origins are developed, and then compared with more usual analyses using imputation of a single fixed value for each origin. The second problem is that the data are collected from multiple studies and it is likely that heterogeneity exists among the study populations. A random-effects hierarchical Cox proportional hazards model is therefore used. The scientific problem motivating this work is a pooled survival analysis of data sets from three studies to examine the effect of GB virus type C (GBV-C) coinfection on survival of HIV-infected individuals. The time of HIV infection is the origin and for each subject this time is unknown, but is known to lie later than the last time at which the subject was known to be HIV negative, and earlier than the first time the subject was known to be HIV positive. The use of an approximate Bayesian approach using the partial likelihood as the likelihood is recommended because it more appropriately incorporates the uncertainty of interval-censored HIV infection times.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)529-542
Number of pages14
JournalStatistics in Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 20 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • GBV-C
  • Human immunodeficiency virus
  • Interval censoring
  • MCMC
  • Multicenter AIDS cohort study
  • Partial likelihood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Statistics and Probability


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