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Estimation and comparison of changes in the prescence of informative right censoring by modeling the censoring process. (English) Zbl 0707.62210
Summary: In the estimation and comparison of the rates of change of a continuous variable between two groups, the unweighted averages of individual simple least squares estimates from each group are often used. Under a linear random effects model, when all individuals have complete observations at identical time points, these statistics are maximum likelihood estimates for the expected rates of change. However, with censored or missing data, these estimates are no longer efficient when compared to generalized least squares estimates. When, in addition, the right-censoring process is dependent on the individual rates of change (i.e., information right censoring), the generalized least squares estimates will be biased. Likelihood-ratio tests for informativeness of the censoring process and maximum likelihood estimates for the expected rates of change and the parameters of the right-censoring process are developed under a linear random effects model with a probit model for the right-censoring process. In realistic situations, we illustrate that the bias in estimating group rate of change and the reduction of power in comparing group differences could be substantial when strong dependency of the right-censoring process on individual rates of change is ignored.

62P10 Applications of statistics to biology and medical sciences; meta analysis
62J05 Linear regression; mixed models
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