• Journal Article

A computer program for multiple decrement life table analyses


Poole, W., & Cooley, P. (1977). A computer program for multiple decrement life table analyses. Computer Programs in Biomedicine, 7(2), 63-70.


Life table analysis has traditionally been the tool of choice in analyzing distribution of 'survival' times when a parametric form for the survival curve could not be reasonably assumed. Chiang, in two papers [1,2] formalized the theory of life table analyses in a Markov chain framework and derived maximum likelihood estimates of the relevant parameters for the analyses. He also discussed how the techniques could be generalized to consider competing risks and follow-up studies. Although various computer programs exist for doing different types of life table analysis [3] to date, there has not been a generally available, well documented computer program to carry out multiple decrement analyses, either by Chiang's or any other method. This paper describes such a program developed by Research Triangle Institute. A user's manual is available at printing costs which supplements the contents of this paper with a discussion of the formula used in the program listing