Regression analysis of multivariate panel count data
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We consider panel count data which are frequently obtained in prospective studies involving recurrent events that are only detected and recorded at periodic assessment times. The data take the form of counts of the cumulative number of events detected at each inspection time, along with explanatory covariates. Examples arise in diverse areas such as epidemiological studies, medical follow-up studies, reliability studies, and tumorigenicity experiments. This article is concerned with regression analysis of multivariate panel count data which arise if more than one type of recurrent event is of interest and individuals are only observed intermittently. We present a class of marginal mean models which leave the dependence structures for related types of recurrent events completely unspecified. Estimating equations are developed for regression parameters, and the resulting estimates are shown to be consistent and asymptotically normal. Simulation studies show that the proposed estimation procedures work well for practical situations. The methodology is applied to a motivating study of patients with psoriatic arthritis in which the events of interest are the onset of joint damage according to 2 different criteria.
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