Author(s): Tosteson TD, Buonaccorsi JP, Demidenko E
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Abstract We explore the effects of measurement error in a time-varying covariate for a mixed model applied to a longitudinal study of plasma levels and dietary intake of beta-carotene. We derive a simple expression for the bias of large sample estimates of the variance of random effects in a longitudinal model for plasma levels when dietary intake is treated as a time-varying covariate subject to measurement error. In general, estimates for these variances made without consideration of measurement error are biased positively, unlike estimates for the slope coefficients which tend to be 'attenuated'. If we can assume that the residuals from a longitudinal fit for the time-varying covariate behave like measurement errors, we can estimate the original parameters without the need for additional validation or reliability studies. We propose a method to test this assumption and show that the assumption is reasonable for the example data. We then use a likelihood-based method of estimation that involves a simple extension of existing methods for fitting mixed models. Simulations illustrate the properties estimators.
This article was published in Stat Med
and referenced in Journal of Biometrics & Biostatistics