An improved survival estimator for censored medical costs with a kernel approach

Shuai Chen, Wenbin Lu, Hongwei Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Cost assessment serves as an essential part in economic evaluation of medical interventions. In many studies, costs as well as survival data are frequently censored. Standard survival analysis techniques are often invalid for censored costs, due to the induced dependent censoring problem. Owing to high skewness in many cost data, it is desirable to estimate the median costs, which will be available with estimated survival function of costs. We propose a kernel-based survival estimator for costs, which is monotone, consistent, and more efficient than several existing estimators. We conduct numerical studies to examine the finite-sample performance of the proposed estimator.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalCommunications in Statistics - Theory and Methods
StateAccepted/In press - Nov 23 2017



  • Censored data
  • Kernel method
  • Median cost
  • Survival analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability

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