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Bayesian Models for Multivariate Current Status Data with Informative Censoring

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Multivariate current status data consist of indicators of whether each of several events occur by the time of a single examination. Our interest focuses on inferences about the joint distribution of the event times. Conventional methods for analysis of multiple event-time data cannot be used because all of the event times are censored and censoring may be informative. Within a given subject, we account for correlated event times through a subject-specific latent variable, conditional upon which the various events are assumed to occur independently. We also assume that each event contributes independently to the hazard of censoring. Nonparametric step functions are used to characterize the baseline distributions of the different event times and of the examination times. Covariate and subject-specific effects are incorporated through generalized linear models. A Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithm is described for estimation of the posterior distributions of the unknowns. The methods are illustrated through application to multiple tumor site data from an animal carcinogenicity study.
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Keywords: Carcinogenicity experiment; Interval censoring; Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithm; Multistate stochastic model; Multivariate survival data; Tumor multiplicity

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Biostatistics Branch, MD A3-03, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, P.O. Box 12233, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709, U.S.A.

Publication date: 2002-03-01

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