Application of random survival forest for competing risks in prediction of cumulative incidence function for progression to AIDS

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Objective: There has remained a need to better understanding of prognostic factors that affect the survival or risk in patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), particularly in developing countries. The aim of the present study aimed to identify the prognostic factors influencing AIDS progression in HIV positive patients in Hamadan province of Iran, using random survival forest in the presence of competing risks (death from causes not related to AIDS). This method considers all interactions between variables and their nonlinear effects.

Method(s): A data set of 585 HIV-infected patients extracted from 1997 to 2011 was utilized. The effect of several prognostic factors on cumulative incidence function (probability) of AIDS progression and death were investigated.

Result: The used model indicated that using antiretroviral therapy tuberculosis co-infection are two top most important variables in predicting cumulative incidence function for AIDS progression in the presence of competing risks, respectively. The patients with tuberculosis had much higher predicted cumulative incidence probability. Predicted cumulative incidence probability of AIDS progression was also higher for mother to child mode of HIV transmission. Moreover, transmission type and gender were two top most important variables for the competing event. Men and those patients with IDUS transmission mode had higher predicted risk compared to others.

Conclusion: Considering nonlinear effects and interaction between variables, confection with tuberculosis was the most important variable in prediction of cumulative incidence probability of AIDS progression.


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