A flexible model for multivariate interval-censored survival times with complex correlation structure.

Falcaro, M; Pickles, A; (2007) A flexible model for multivariate interval-censored survival times with complex correlation structure. Statistics in medicine, 26 (3). pp. 663-80. ISSN 0277-6715 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/sim.2522

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We focus on the analysis of multivariate survival times with highly structured interdependency and subject to interval censoring. Such data are common in developmental genetics and genetic epidemiology. We propose a flexible mixed probit model that deals naturally with complex but uninformative censoring. The recorded ages of onset are treated as possibly censored ordinal outcomes with the interval censoring mechanism seen as arising from a coarsened measurement of a continuous variable observed as falling between subject-specific thresholds. This bypasses the requirement for the failure times to be observed as falling into non-overlapping intervals. The assumption of a normal age-of-onset distribution of the standard probit model is relaxed by embedding within it a multivariate Box-Cox transformation whose parameters are jointly estimated with the other parameters of the model. Complex decompositions of the underlying multivariate normal covariance matrix of the transformed ages of onset become possible. The new methodology is here applied to a multivariate study of the ages of first use of tobacco and first consumption of alcohol without parental permission in twins. The proposed model allows estimation of the genetic and environmental effects that are shared by both of these risk behaviours as well as those that are specific.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Non-Communicable Disease Epidemiology
PubMed ID: 16596574
Web of Science ID: 243511400014
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/1920


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