Application possibilities of survival analysis for time-to-event data in animal science


  • Bárdos Boróka Magyar Agrár- és Élettudományi Egyetem (MATE) Kaposvári Campus
  • Benedek Ildikó Magyar Agrár- és Élettudományi Egyetem (MATE) Kaposvári Campus
  • Kodak Oleksandr Magyar Agrár- és Élettudományi Egyetem (MATE) Kaposvári Campus
  • Nagy István Magyar Agrár- és Élettudományi Egyetem (MATE) Kaposvári Campus



behavior studies, time-to-event data, survival analysis


The application efficiency of several statistical methods was tested based on an open field behavior test of mice. The examined trait was the duration time until the animals approached the experimenter’s hand. The available time was fixed in 300 seconds. There were monitored 80 mice belonging to two different species of the Mus genus in equal proportion. Besides, male and female and young and adult animals have also represented the evaluated groups in equal proportions. The data of the examined trait was analyzed with Generalized Linear Models, Kaplan-Meier survival curves, and with Cox Proportional hazard model. The applied statistical procedure provided completely discordant results. According to the GLM results none of the examined factors (species, sex, and age) had significant effects on the examined variable. On the contrary, all factors proved to be significant using a procedure based on the survival analysis. Kaplan-Meier survival curves indicated a higher proportion of individuals successfully approaching the experimenter’s hand in all of the compared groups representing different species sexes and ages, respectively. The estimated Cox regression coefficients were significant indicating the significant effects of the species, sex, and age on the investigated trait. Based on the estimated Hazard ratios the probability that in the next time unit a successful approach of the experimenter’s hand would occur is three times more likely for one species than the other, twice as much for males and the juveniles than for the females and for the adults. Based on the present study it could be concluded that the successful approach of the experimenter’s hand by the mice is clearly “time to event data” thus it is suitable to be analyzed with survival analysis procedures. It could be concluded that applying conventional GLM was not adequate because due to the lack of the successful approach and approach times the censored data should not be used and thus the sample size would largely be reduced.


Balogh, P., Kapelanski, W., Jankowiak, H., Nagy, L., Kovács, S., Huzsvai, L., Popp, J., Posta, J., Soltész, A. (2015). The productive lifetime of sows on two farms from the aspects of reasons for culling. Ann. Anim. Sci., 15, 747-758. DOI:

Baginé Hunyadi Á., Kusza Sz., Balogh P. (2016a). Magyar nagyfehér, duroc és pietrain kocák túlélés elemzése. Agrártudományi Közlemények, 69, 31-36. DOI:

Baginé Hunyadi Á., Kusza Sz., Balogh P. (2016b). Examination of the interval between litters (IBL) of different genotype HLW sows using survival analysis. Agrártudományi Közlemények, 70, 13-17. DOI:

Brantsæter, M., Tahamtani, F.M., Nordgreen, J., Sandberg, E., Hansen, T.B., Rodenburg, T.B. Opper-mann Moe, R., Janczak, A.M. (2017). Access to litter during rearing and environmental enrich-ment during production reduce fearfulness in adult laying hens. Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci., 189, 49-56. DOI:

Brück-Klingberg, A.C., Burkert, A.G., Holger, S., Wapler, R. (2011). Does higher education help immi-grants find a job? IAB-Discussion Paper Nr. 6. Nürnberg: IAB.

Chen, Q., May, R.C., Ibrahim, J.G., Chu, H., Cole, S.R. (2014). Joint modeling of longitudinal and survival data with missing and left-censored time-varying covariates. Stat. Med. 33(26), 4560–4576. DOI:

Coleman, K., Wilson, D.S. (1998). Shyness and boldness in pumpkinseed sunfish: individual differ-ences are context-specific. Anim. Behav., 56: 927-936. DOI:

Cox, D.R. (1972). Regression Models and Life Tables. J. Roy. Stat. Soc., 34, 187-220. DOI:

Fitzgibbon, C.D. (1994). The costs and benefits of predator inspection behaviour in Thomson Ga-zelles Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol., 34, 139-148. DOI:

Fox, R.A., Ladage, L.D., Roth, T.C., Pravosudov, V.V. (2009). Behavioral profile predicts dominance status in mountain chickadees. Anim. Behav., 77, 1441-1448. DOI:

Greenberg, J.R., Holekamp, K.E. (2017). Human disturbance affects personality development in a wild carnivore. Anim. Behav., 132, 303–312. DOI:

Haage, M., Maran, T., Bergvall, U.A., Elmhagen, B., Angerbjörn, A. (2017). The influence of spatiotem-poral conditions and personality on survival in reintroductions–evolutionary implications. Oecologia, 183, 45-56. DOI:

Hansen, M.J., Schaerf, T.M., Ward, A.J.W. (2015). The effect of hunger on the exploratory behaviour of shoals of mosquitofish Gambusia holbrooki Behaviour, 152, 1659-1677. DOI:

Moreno-Betancur, M., Sadaoui, H., Piffaretti, C., Ray, G. (2017). Survival analysis with multiple causes of death: extending the competing risks model. Epidemiology 28, 12–19. DOI:

Kaplan, E.L., Meier, P. (1958). Nonparametric Estimation from Incomplete observations. J. Am. Stat. Assoc., 53, 457-481. DOI:

Lánczky, A., Nagy, Á, Bottai, G., Munkácsy, G., Szabó, A., Santarpia, L., Győrffy, B. (2016). MiRpower: a web-tool to validate survival-associated MiRNAs utilizing expression data from 2178 breast cancer patients. Breast Cancer Res. Treat., 160, 439–446. DOI:

Lee, K.E., Kim, J.G., Lee, H., Kim, B.S. (2021). Behavioral and cardiac responses in mature horses ex-posed to a novel object. J. Anim. Sci.Technol. 63, 651-661. DOI:

Li, J., Wang, W., Xia, P., Wan, L., Zhang, L., Yu, L., et al. (2018). Identification of a five-LNCRNA signature for predicting the risk of tumor recurrence in breast cancer patients. Int. J. Cancer, 143, 2150-2160. DOI:

Nagy, I., Szabó, A., Romvári, R., Szendrő, Zs. (2004a). Brief description of the survival analysis proce-dure using the running rejection behaviour of young rabbits as a model trait. Agr. Consp. Sci., 69, 29-33.

SAS Institute Inc. (2013): SAS/STAT® 13.1 User’s Guide, The Lifereg Procedure, Cary, NC.

SAS Institute Inc. (2014): SAS/STAT® 13.2 User’s Guide, The Phreg Procedure, Cary, NC.

Solé, M., Sánchez, M.J., Valera, M., Molina, A., Azor, P.J., Sölkner, J. Mészáros, G. (2017). Assessment of sportive longevity in

Pura Raza Espa ̃nol dressage horses.Livest. Sci., 203, 69–75. DOI:

Soltész, A., Baginé Hunyadi, Á., Kusza, Sz., Balogh, P. (2016). Survival analysis of sow longevity and lifetime reproductive performance – Review. Agrártudományi Közlemények, 70, 75-80. DOI:

Török, E., Komlósi, I., Szőnyi, V., Béri, B., Mészáros, G., Posta, J. (2021). Combinations of Linear Type Traits Affecting the Longevity in Hungarian Holstein-Friesian Cows. Animals, 11 (11), 3065. DOI:

Woodward, M. (2014). Epidemiology, Study Design and Data Analysis. 3rd Edition. CRC Press Boca Raton


További fájlok



Folyóirat szám


Állattenyésztés és genetika

Hogyan kell idézni

Application possibilities of survival analysis for time-to-event data in animal science. (2022). ACTA AGRARIA KAPOSVARIENSIS, 26(1), 17-26.