We develop and study an innovative method for jointly modeling longitudinal response and time-to-event data with a covariate subject to a limit of detection. The joint model assumes a latent process based on random effects to describe the association between longitudinal and time-to-event data. We study the role of the association parameter on the regression parameters estimators. We model the longitudinal and survival outcomes using linear mixed-effects and Weibull frailty models, respectively. Because of the limit of detection, missing covariate (explanatory variable, x) values may lead to the non-ignorable missing, resulting in biased parameter estimates with poor coverage probabilities of the confidence interval. We define and estimate the probability of missing due to the limit of detection. Then we develop a novel joint density and hence the likelihood function that incorporates the effect of left-censored covariate. Monte Carlo simulations show that the estimators of the proposed method are approximately unbiased and provide expected coverage probabilities for both longitudinal and survival submodels parameters. We also present an application of the proposed method using a large clinical dataset of pneumonia patients obtained from the Genetic and Inflammatory Markers of Sepsis study.

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Keywords frailty model, Joint model, left-censored covariate, linear mixed-effects model, non-ignorable missing
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1177/0962280217729573
Journal Statistical Methods in Medical Research
Sattar, A. (Abdus), & Sinha, S. K. (2017). Joint modeling of longitudinal and survival data with a covariate subject to a limit of detection. Statistical Methods in Medical Research. doi:10.1177/0962280217729573