Methods for multivariate recurrent event data with measurement error and informative censoring.
ABSTRACT: In multivariate recurrent event data regression, observation of recurrent events is usually terminated by other events that are associated with the recurrent event processes, resulting in informative censoring. Additionally, some covariates could be measured with errors. In some applications, an instrumental variable is observed in a subsample, namely a calibration sample, which can be applied for bias correction. In this article, we develop two non-parametric correction approaches to simultaneously correct for the informative censoring and measurement errors in the analysis of multivariate recurrent event data. A shared frailty model is adopted to characterize the informative censoring and dependence among different types of recurrent events. To adjust for measurement errors, a non-parametric correction method using the calibration sample only is proposed. In the second approach, the information from the whole cohort is incorporated by the generalized method of moments. The proposed methods do not require the Poisson-type assumption for the multivariate recurrent event process and the distributional assumption for the frailty. Moreover, we do not need to impose any distributional assumption on the underlying covariates and measurement error. Both methods perform well, but the second approach improves efficiency. The proposed methods are applied to the Nutritional Prevention of Cancer trial to assess the effect of selenium treatment on the recurrences of basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.
Project description:Recurrent event data arise frequently in many longitudinal follow-up studies. Hence, evaluating covariate effects on the rates of occurrence of such events is commonly of interest. Examples include repeated hospitalizations, recurrent infections of HIV, and tumor recurrences. In this article, we consider semiparametric regression methods for the occurrence rate function of recurrent events when the covariates may be measured with errors. In contrast to the existing works, in our case the conventional assumption of independent censoring is violated since the recurrent event process is interrupted by some correlated events, which is called informative drop-out. Further, some covariates may be measured with errors. To accommodate for both informative censoring and measurement error, the occurrence of recurrent events is modelled through an unspecified frailty distribution and accompanied with a classical measurement error model. We propose two corrected approaches based on different ideas, and we show that they are numerically identical when estimating the regression parameters. The asymptotic properties of the proposed estimators are established, and the finite sample performance is examined via simulations. The proposed methods are applied to the Nutritional Prevention of Cancer trial for assessing the effect of the plasma selenium treatment on the recurrence of squamous cell carcinoma.
Project description:Recurrent events could be stopped by a terminal event, which commonly occurs in biomedical and clinical studies. In this situation, dependent censoring is encountered because of potential dependence between these two event processes, leading to invalid inference if analyzing recurrent events alone. The joint frailty model is one of the widely used approaches to jointly model these two processes by sharing the same frailty term. One important assumption is that recurrent and terminal event processes are conditionally independent given the subject-level frailty; however, this could be violated when the dependency may also depend on time-varying covariates across recurrences. Furthermore, marginal correlation between two event processes based on traditional frailty modeling has no closed form solution for estimation with vague interpretation. In order to fill these gaps, we propose a novel joint frailty-copula approach to model recurrent events and a terminal event with relaxed assumptions. Metropolis-Hastings within the Gibbs Sampler algorithm is used for parameter estimation. Extensive simulation studies are conducted to evaluate the efficiency, robustness, and predictive performance of our proposal. The simulation results show that compared with the joint frailty model, the bias and mean squared error of the proposal is smaller when the conditional independence assumption is violated. Finally, we apply our method into a real example extracted from the MarketScan database to study the association between recurrent strokes and mortality.
Project description:Panel count data arise when the number of recurrent events experienced by each subject is observed intermittently at discrete examination times. The examination time process can be informative about the underlying recurrent event process even after conditioning on covariates. We consider a semiparametric accelerated mean model for the recurrent event process and allow the two processes to be correlated through a shared frailty. The regression parameters have a simple marginal interpretation of modifying the time scale of the cumulative mean function of the event process. A novel estimation procedure for the regression parameters and the baseline rate function is proposed based on a conditioning technique. In contrast to existing methods, the proposed method is robust in the sense that it requires neither the strong Poisson-type assumption for the underlying recurrent event process nor a parametric assumption on the distribution of the unobserved frailty. Moreover, the distribution of the examination time process is left unspecified, allowing for arbitrary dependence between the two processes. Asymptotic consistency of the estimator is established, and the variance of the estimator is estimated by a model-based smoothed bootstrap procedure. Numerical studies demonstrated that the proposed point estimator and variance estimator perform well with practical sample sizes. The methods are applied to data from a skin cancer chemoprevention trial.
Project description:Joint models are formulated to investigate the association between a primary endpoint and features of multiple longitudinal processes. In particular, the subject-specific random effects in a multivariate linear random-effects model for multiple longitudinal processes are predictors in a generalized linear model for primary endpoints. Li, Zhang, and Davidian (2004, Biometrics60, 1-7) proposed an estimation procedure that makes no distributional assumption on the random effects but assumes independent within-subject measurement errors in the longitudinal covariate process. Based on an asymptotic bias analysis, we found that their estimators can be biased when random effects do not fully explain the within-subject correlations among longitudinal covariate measurements. Specifically, the existing procedure is fairly sensitive to the independent measurement error assumption. To overcome this limitation, we propose new estimation procedures that require neither a distributional or covariance structural assumption on covariate random effects nor an independence assumption on within-subject measurement errors. These new procedures are more flexible, readily cover scenarios that have multivariate longitudinal covariate processes, and can be implemented using available software. Through simulations and an analysis of data from a hypertension study, we evaluate and illustrate the numerical performances of the new estimators.
Project description:Recurrent event data arise frequently in various fields such as biomedical sciences, public health, engineering, and social sciences. In many instances, the observation of the recurrent event process can be stopped by the occurrence of a correlated failure event, such as treatment failure and death. In this article, we propose a joint scale-change model for the recurrent event process and the failure time, where a shared frailty variable is used to model the association between the two types of outcomes. In contrast to the popular Cox-type joint modeling approaches, the regression parameters in the proposed joint scale-change model have marginal interpretations. The proposed approach is robust in the sense that no parametric assumption is imposed on the distribution of the unobserved frailty and that we do not need the strong Poisson-type assumption for the recurrent event process. We establish consistency and asymptotic normality of the proposed semiparametric estimators under suitable regularity conditions. To estimate the corresponding variances of the estimators, we develop a computationally efficient resampling-based procedure. Simulation studies and an analysis of hospitalization data from the Danish Psychiatric Central Register illustrate the performance of the proposed method.
Project description:Recurrent event data are widely encountered in clinical and observational studies. Most methods for recurrent events treat the outcome as a point process and, as such, neglect any associated event duration. This generally leads to a less informative and potentially biased analysis. We propose a joint model for the recurrent event rate (of incidence) and duration. The two processes are linked through a bivariate normal frailty. For example, when the event is hospitalization, we can treat the time to admission and length-of-stay as two alternating recurrent events. In our method, the regression parameters are estimated through a penalized partial likelihood, and the variance-covariance matrix of the frailty is estimated through a recursive estimating formula. Moreover, we develop a likelihood ratio test to assess the dependence between the incidence and duration processes. Simulation results demonstrate that our method provides accurate parameter estimation, with a relatively fast computation time. We illustrate the methods through an analysis of hospitalizations among end-stage renal disease patients.
Project description:Frailty models are useful for measuring unobserved heterogeneity in risk of failures across clusters, providing cluster-specific risk prediction. In a frailty model, the latent frailties shared by members within a cluster are assumed to act multiplicatively on the hazard function. In order to obtain parameter and frailty variate estimates, we consider the hierarchical likelihood (H-likelihood) approach (Ha, Lee and Song, 2001. Hierarchical-likelihood approach for frailty models. Biometrika 88, 233-243) in which the latent frailties are treated as "parameters" and estimated jointly with other parameters of interest. We find that the H-likelihood estimators perform well when the censoring rate is low, however, they are substantially biased when the censoring rate is moderate to high. In this paper, we propose a simple and easy-to-implement bias correction method for the H-likelihood estimators under a shared frailty model. We also extend the method to a multivariate frailty model, which incorporates complex dependence structure within clusters. We conduct an extensive simulation study and show that the proposed approach performs very well for censoring rates as high as 80%. We also illustrate the method with a breast cancer data set. Since the H-likelihood is the same as the penalized likelihood function, the proposed bias correction method is also applicable to the penalized likelihood estimators.
Project description:Dropout is a common occurrence in longitudinal studies. Building upon the pattern-mixture modeling approach within the Bayesian paradigm, we propose a general framework of varying-coefficient models for longitudinal data with informative dropout, where measurement times can be irregular and dropout can occur at any point in continuous time (not just at observation times) together with administrative censoring. Specifically, we assume that the longitudinal outcome process depends on the dropout process through its model parameters. The unconditional distribution of the repeated measures is a mixture over the dropout (administrative censoring) time distribution, and the continuous dropout time distribution with administrative censoring is left completely unspecified. We use Markov chain Monte Carlo to sample from the posterior distribution of the repeated measures given the dropout (administrative censoring) times; Bayesian bootstrapping on the observed dropout (administrative censoring) times is carried out to obtain marginal covariate effects. We illustrate the proposed framework using data from a longitudinal study of depression in HIV-infected women; the strategy for sensitivity analysis on unverifiable assumption is also demonstrated.
Project description:In this paper, we investigate frailty models for clustered survival data that are subject to both left- and right-censoring, termed "doubly-censored data". This model extends current survival literature by broadening the application of frailty models from right-censoring to a more complicated situation with additional left censoring. Our approach is motivated by a recent Hepatitis B study where the sample consists of families. We adopt a likelihood approach that aims at the nonparametric maximum likelihood estimators (NPMLE). A new algorithm is proposed, which not only works well for clustered data but also improve over existing algorithm for independent and doubly-censored data, a special case when the frailty variable is a constant equal to one. This special case is well known to be a computational challenge due to the left censoring feature of the data. The new algorithm not only resolves this challenge but also accommodate the additional frailty variable effectively. Asymptotic properties of the NPMLE are established along with semi-parametric efficiency of the NPMLE for the finite-dimensional parameters. The consistency of Bootstrap estimators for the standard errors of the NPMLE is also discussed. We conducted some simulations to illustrate the numerical performance and robustness of the proposed algorithm, which is also applied to the Hepatitis B data.
Project description:We consider a random effects model for longitudinal data with the occurrence of an informative terminal event that is subject to right censoring. Existing methods for analyzing such data include the joint modeling approach using latent frailty and the marginal estimating equation approach using inverse probability weighting; in both cases the effect of the terminal event on the response variable is not explicit and thus not easily interpreted. In contrast, we treat the terminal event time as a covariate in a conditional model for the longitudinal data, which provides a straight-forward interpretation while keeping the usual relationship of interest between the longitudinally measured response variable and covariates for times that are far from the terminal event. A two-stage semiparametric likelihood-based approach is proposed for estimating the regression parameters; first, the conditional distribution of the right-censored terminal event time given other covariates is estimated and then the likelihood function for the longitudinal event given the terminal event and other regression parameters is maximized. The method is illustrated by numerical simulations and by analyzing medical cost data for patients with end-stage renal disease. Desirable asymptotic properties are provided.