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Activity Number: 4 - Recent Advance of Causal Inference in Failure Time Settings
Type: Invited
Date/Time: Sunday, July 28, 2019 : 2:00 PM to 3:50 PM
Sponsor: ENAR
Abstract #300370 Presentation
Title: The Choice to Define Competing Risk Events as Censoring Events and Implications for Causal Inference
Author(s): Jessica Gerald Young* and Mats Julius Stensrud and Eric Tchetgen Tchetgen and Miguel Hernan
Companies: Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health and University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University
Keywords: causal inference; survival analysis; longitudinal data; g-formula; inverse-probability weighting

In failure-time settings, a competing risk event is any event that makes it impossible for the event of interest to occur. Different statistical methods are available for estimating the effect of a treatment on a failure event of interest that is subject to competing events. The choice of method depends on whether or not competing events are defined as censoring events. Though such definition has key implications for the causal interpretation of a given estimate, explicit consideration of those implications has been rare in the statistical literature. As a result, confusion exists as to how to choose amongst available methods for analyzing data with competing events and how to interpret effect estimates. This confusion can be alleviated by understanding that the choice to define a competing event as a censoring event or not corresponds to a choice between different causal estimands. In this talk, we consider assumptions required to identify those causal estimands, how these assumptions can be evaluated using existing graphical methods and provide a mapping between such estimands and standard terminology from the statistical literature.

Authors who are presenting talks have a * after their name.

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