Analyzing left-truncated right-censored data with uncertain onset time with parametric models

Jun Liu, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Prevalent sampling is an efficient and focused approach to the study of the natural history of disease. Right-censored time-to-event data observed from prospective prevalent cohort studies are often subject to left-truncated sampling. Left-truncated samples are not randomly selected from the population of interest and have a selection bias. Extensive studies have focused on estimating the unbiased distribution given left-truncated samples. However, in many applications, the exact date of disease onset was not observed. For example, in an HIV infection study, the exact HIV infection time is not observable. However, it is known that the HIV infection date occurred between two observable dates. Meeting these challenges motivated our study. We propose parametric models to estimate the unbiased distribution of left-truncated, right-censored time-to-event data with uncertain onset times. We first consider data from a length-biased sampling, a specific case in left-truncated samplings. Then we extend the proposed method to general left-truncated sampling. With a parametric model, we construct the full likelihood, given a biased sample with unobservable onset of disease. The parameters are estimated through the maximization of the constructed likelihood by adjusting the selection bias and unobservable exact onset. Simulations are conducted to evaluate the finite sample performance of the proposed methods. We apply the proposed method to an HIV infection study, estimating the unbiased survival function and covariance coefficients.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Liu, Jun, "Analyzing left-truncated right-censored data with uncertain onset time with parametric models" (2012). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3561338.