A significant source of missing data in longitudinal epidemiologic studies on elderly individuals is death. It is generally believed that these missing data by death are non-ignorable to likelihood based inference. Inference based on data only from surviving participants in the study may lead to biased results. In this paper we model both the probability of disease and the probability of death using shared random effect parameters. We also propose to use the Laplace approximation for obtaining an approximate likelihood function so that high dimensional integration over the distributions of the random effect parameters is not necessary. Parameter estimates can be obtained by maximizing the approximate log-likelihood function. Data from a longitudinal dementia study will be used to illustrate the approach. A small simulation is conducted to compare parameter estimates from the proposed method to the 'naive' method where missing data is considered at random.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Statistics and Probability