Understanding bias when estimating life expectancy from age at death: a simulation approach applied to Morquio syndrome A.

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Date: Jan. 15, 2022
From: BMC Research Notes(Vol. 15, Issue 1)
Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd.
Document Type: Report
Length: 2,615 words
Lexile Measure: 1560L

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Abstract :

Objective Life expectancy can be estimated accurately from a cohort of individuals born in the same year and followed from birth to death. However, due to the resource-consuming nature of following a cohort prospectively, life expectancy is often assessed based upon retrospective death record reviews. This conventional approach may lead to potentially biased estimates, in particular when estimating life expectancy of rare diseases such as Morquio syndrome A. We investigated the accuracy of life expectancy estimation using death records by simulating the survival of individuals with Morquio syndrome A under four different scenarios. Results When life expectancy was constant during the entire period, using death data did not result in a biased estimate. However, when life expectancy increased over time, as is often expected to be the case in rare diseases, using only death data led to a substantial underestimation of life expectancy. We emphasize that it is therefore crucial to understand how estimates of life expectancy are obtained, to interpret them in an appropriate context, and to assess estimation methods within a sensitivity analysis framework, similar to the simulations performed herein. Keywords: Life expectancy, Morquio syndrome A, Simulations, Kaplan-Meier

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A693700634