In statistics, specifically survival analysis, one often talks about the number of survivors and decedents in a cohort. What would be an appropriate word to describe the two groups?

  • Forgive me if it's a dumb question, but doesn't that include everyone in the cohort? Jun 29, 2016 at 13:46
  • @thomas-francois: I thought so as well, but in these types of studies there is usually a third group; people who have dropped out of a study and are dealt with separately. As I understand it, this third group also forms part of the cohort.
    – lafras
    Jun 29, 2016 at 13:51
  • 2
    Can you write a detailed example sentence where the word would be used?
    – user140086
    Jun 29, 2016 at 13:54
  • 1
    What are they surviving (or not)? Are they victims of some event? If so, you can use victims.
    – Drew
    Jun 29, 2016 at 17:00

1 Answer 1


The APA Style site recommends the terms participants or subjects, noting:

...for more than 100 years the term subjects has been used within experimental psychology as a general starting point for describing a sample, and its use is appropriate.

So survivors, decedents, and dropouts as a whole constitute the initial subjects of the study; the survivors and decedents who remained are the subjects who are entered into the analysis.


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