Life table analysis

Life table analysis is part of:
  • Life Survival analysis software

  • System configuration

    • Windows:
      • Versions: 9x/Me/NT/2000/XP/Vista/Win 7/Win 8
      • Excel: 97 and later
      • Processor: 32 or 64 bits
      • Hard disk: 150 Mb
    • Mac OS X:
      • OS: OS X
      • Excel: X, 2004 and 2011
      • Hard disk: 150Mb.


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    Easy and user-friendly XLSTAT is flawlessly integrated with Microsoft Excel which is the most popular spreadsheet worldwide. This integration makes it one of the simplest available tools to work with as it utilizes the same philosophy as Microsoft Excel. The program is accessible in a dedicated XLSTAT tab. The analyses are grouped into functional menus. The dialog boxes are user-friendly and setting up an analysis is straightforward.
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What is life table analysis

Life table analysis belongs to the descriptive methods of survival analysis, as well as Kaplan Meier analysis. The life table analysis method was developed first, but the Kaplan-Meier analysis method has been shown to be superior in many cases.

Life table analysis allows to quickly obtain a population survival curve and essential statistics such as the median survival time. Life table analysis, which main result is the life table (also called actuarial table) works on regular time intervals. This is the major difference with the Kaplan Meier analysis, where the time intervals are taken as they are in the data set.

Use of Life table analysis

Life table analysis allows you to analyze how a given population evolves with time. This technique is mostly applied to survival data and product quality data. There are three main reasons why a population of individuals or products may evolve:

The first type of data is usually called "failure data", or "event data", while the second is called "censored data".

The life table method allows comparing populations, through their survival curves. For example, it can be of interest to compare the survival times of two samples of the same product produced in two different locations. Tests can be performed to check if the survival curves have arisen from identical survival functions. These results can later be used to model the survival curves and to predict probabilities of failure.

Censoring data for life table analysis

Type of censoring for life table analysis

There are several types of censoring of survival data:

Independent censoring for life table analysis

The life table method requires that the observations are independent. Second, the censoring must be independent: if you consider two random individuals in the study at time t-1, if one of the individuals is censored at time t, and if the other survives, then both must have equal chances to survive at time t. There are four different types of independent censoring:

Results of the life table analysis in XLSTAT

Life table

The life table displays the various results obtained from the analysis, including:

Charts for life table analysis

XLSTAT offers the following charts:

It is also possible to identify on the charts the times when censored data have been recorded.

Test of equality of the survival functions

It is possible to compute a test of equality of th esurvival functions with three different tests:

These tests are based on a Chi-square test. The lower the corresponding p-value, the more significant the differences between the groups.