Biostatistics Section Workshop

Analysis of Life History Data with Multistate Models

Richard Cook and Jerry Lawless, University of Waterloo

May 26, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm



Life history studies examine specific outcomes and processes during peoples' lifetimes. For example, cohort studies of chronic disease provide information on disease progression, fixed and time-varying risk factors, and the extent of heterogeneity in the population. Modelling and analysis of life history processes is often facilitated by the use of multistate models. The aim of this workshop is to present models and methods for multistate analyses, and to indicate some current topics of research. Software for conducting analyses will be discussed and code for specific problems will be given. A wide range of illustrations involving chronic disease and other conditions will be presented. Course notes will be distributed.


  1. Introduction
  2. Some Basic Quantities for Event History Modelling
  3. Some Illustrative Analyses Involving Multistate Models
  4. Processes with Intermittent Observation
  5. Modelling Heterogeneity and Associations
  6. Dependent Censoring and Inspection
  7. Some Other Topics


Richard Cook is Professor of Statistics at the University of Waterloo and holder of the Canada Research Chair in Statistical Methods for Health Research. He has published extensively in the areas of statistical methodology, clinical trials, medicine and public health, including many articles on event history analysis, multistate models and the statistical analysis of life history data. He collaborates with numerous researchers in medicine and public health and has consulted widely with pharmaceutical companies on the design and analysis of clinical trials.

Jerry Lawless is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Statistics at the University of Waterloo. He has published extensively on statistical models and methods for survival and event history data, life history processes and other topics, and is the author of Statistical Models and Methods for Lifetime Data (2nd edition, Wiley, 2003). He has consulted and worked in many applied areas, including medicine, public health, manufacturing and reliability. Dr. Lawless was the holder of the GM-NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Quality and Productivity from 1994 to 2004.

Drs. Cook and Lawless have co-authored many papers as well as the book "The Statistical Analysis of Recurrent Events" (Springer, 2007). They have also given numerous workshops together.