In the Nordic countries, there exist several registers containing information on diseases and risk factors for millions of individuals. This information can be linked into families by use of personal identification numbers, and represent a great opportunity for studying diseases that show familial aggregation. Due to the size of the registers, it is difficult to analyze the data by using traditional methods for multivariate survival analysis, such as frailty or copula models. Since the size of the cohort is known, case-cohort methods based on pseudo-likelihoods are suitable for analyzing the data. We present methods for sampling control families both with and without replacement, and with or without stratification. The data are stratified according to family size and covariate values. Depending on the sampling method, results from simulations indicate that one only needs to sample 1%-5% of the control families in order to get good efficiency compared to a traditional cohort analysis. We also provide an application to survival data from the Medical Birth Registry of Norway.


Survival Analysis