Penalized Variable Selection for Multi-center Competing Risks Data

Zhixuan Fu, Shuangge Ma, Haiqun Lin, Chirag R. Parikh, Bingqing Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


We consider variable selection in competing risks regression for multi-center data. Our research is motivated by deceased donor kidney transplants, from which recipients would experience graft failure, death with functioning graft (DWFG), or graft survival. The occurrence of DWFG precludes graft failure from happening and therefore is a competing risk. Data within a transplant center may be correlated due to a latent center effect, such as varying patient populations, surgical techniques, and patient management. The proportional subdistribution hazard (PSH) model has been frequently used in the regression analysis of competing risks data. Two of its extensions, the stratified and the marginal PSH models, can be applied to multi-center data to account for the center effect. In this paper, we propose penalization strategies for the two models, primarily to select important variables and estimate their effects whereas correlations within centers serve as a nuisance. Simulations demonstrate good performance and computational efficiency for the proposed methods. It is further assessed using an analysis of data from the United Network of Organ Sharing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)379-405
Number of pages27
JournalStatistics in Biosciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)


  • Clustered data
  • Competing risks
  • Cumulative incidence function
  • Graft failure
  • Group variable selection
  • Kidney transplant
  • Marginal model
  • Multi-center data
  • Penalized variable selection
  • Proportional subdistribution hazard
  • Stratified model


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