The Kaplan-Meier (KM) estimator of the survival function imputes event times for right-censored and left-truncated observations, but these imputations are hidden and therefore sometimes unrecognized by applied health scientists. Using a simple example data set and the redistribution algorithm, we illustrate how imputations are made by the KM estimator. We also discuss the assumptions necessary for valid analyses of survival data. Illustrating imputations hidden by the KM estimator helps to clarify these assumptions and therefore may reduce inappropriate inferences.
- Loss to follow-up
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