This paper was undertaken to describe what medical topics are studied by the means of meta-analyses of survival data. An observational, descriptive and transversal study was performed. Articles dealing with meta-analyses of survival data were searched in Medline in the period from 1st of May 2000 to 1st of May 2005. A total of 407 articles were analyzed. From those 261(64%) met the eligibility criteria. A list with frequent (found in at least three articles) topics found in articles using meta-analyses of survival data is presented, along with 13 broader topics covered in articles (neoplasms (68%), cardiovascular diseases (20%), digestive system diseases (11.5%), urologic diseases (8.3%), dentistry (5.2%), and the rest of 11 topics (11,4%)). The number broader topics researched in articles using meta-analysis of survival data is low. This indicates an under utilization of meta-analysis of survival data in different medicine branches. Meta-analysis of survival data should be used in more branches of medicine where it applies.


Survival analysis, Meta-analysis, Medical subject headings.