An application of restricted mean survival time in a competing risks setting: Comparing time to ART initiation by injection drug use

Keri L. Calkins, Chelsea E. Canan, Richard D. Moore, Catherine R. Lesko, Bryan Lau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Restricted mean survival time (RMST) is an underutilized estimand in time-to-event analyses. Herein, we highlight its strengths by comparing time to (1) all-cause mortality and (2) initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV-infected persons who inject drugs (PWID) and persons who do not inject drugs. Methods: RMST to death was determined by integrating the Kaplan-Meier survival curve to 5 years of follow-up. To account for the competing risks of death and loss-to-clinic when estimating time to ART, we calculated RMST to ART initiation by estimating the area between the survival curve for ART initiation and the cumulative incidence curve for death or loss-to-clinic. We standardized all curves using inverse probability of exposure weights. Results: We followed 3044 HIV-positive, ART-naive persons from enrollment into the Johns Hopkins HIV Clinical Cohort from 1996 to 2014. PWID had a - 0.19 year (95% confidence interval (CI): - 0.29, - 0.10) difference in survival over 5 years of follow-up compared to persons who did not inject drugs. There was no difference between the two groups in time not on ART while alive and in clinic (RMST difference = 0.08, 95% CI: -0.10, 0.36). Conclusions: PWID have similar expected time to ART initiation after properly accounting for their greater risk of death and loss-to-clinic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number27
JournalBMC medical research methodology
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 9 2018

Keywords

  • Antiretroviral therapy
  • Competing risks
  • HIV
  • Injection drug use
  • Restricted mean survival time
  • Survival analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health Informatics

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