Life Expectancy Comparison between a Study Cohort and a Reference Population


  • Georg Zimmermann Spinal Cord Injury and Tissue Regeneration Center\\ Department of Neurology, Christian Doppler Klinik, Paracelsus Medical University A-5020 Salzburg Department of Mathematics, Paris Lodron University A-5020 Salzburg



Questions of life expectancy are highly relevant in clinical practice, in particular if one is
interested in the life expectancy loss due to a certain disease in comparison with the general
population. Therefore,
we propose a methodology which enables the researcher to compare more easily life expectancies between
a study cohort and a reference population. Firstly, we take the formula commonly used in
official statistics and adapt it to a survival analytic setting, thus establishing a link between
official statistics and survival analysis. Further, we discuss two commonly encountered
sources of potentially severe bias, and how to remedy them. We hope that the proposed
approach facilitates the use of life tables, particularly in clinical studies with mortality
as primary endpoint.



How to Cite

Zimmermann, G. (2016). Life Expectancy Comparison between a Study Cohort and a Reference Population. Austrian Journal of Statistics, 45(2), 53-67.