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Functional joint models for chronic kidney disease in kidney transplant recipients

, , Jagbir Gill, Clifford Miles, Troy Plumb
Statistical Methods in Medical Research ; doi:10.1177/09622802211009265

Abstract: This functional joint model paper is motivated by a chronic kidney disease study post kidney transplantation. The available kidney organ is a scarce resource because millions of end-stage renal patients are on the waiting list for kidney transplantation. The life of the transplanted kidney can be extended if the progression of the chronic kidney disease stage can be slowed, and so a major research question is how to extend the transplanted kidney life to maximize the usage of the scarce organ resource. The glomerular filtration rate is the best test to monitor the progression of the kidney function, and it is a continuous longitudinal outcome with repeated measures. The patient’s survival status is characterized by time-to-event outcomes including kidney transplant failure, death with kidney function, and death without kidney function. Few studies have been carried out to simultaneously investigate these multiple clinical outcomes in chronic kidney disease stage patients based on a joint model. Therefore, this paper proposes a new functional joint model from this clinical chronic kidney disease study. The proposed joint models include a longitudinal sub-model with a flexible basis function for subject-level trajectories and a competing-risks sub-model for multiple time-to event outcomes. The different association structures can be accomplished through a time-dependent function of shared random effects from the longitudinal process or the whole longitudinal history in the competing-risks sub-model. The proposed joint model that utilizes basis function and competing-risks sub-model is an extension of the standard linear joint models. The application results from the proposed joint model can supply some useful clinical references for chronic kidney disease study post kidney transplantation.
Keywords: Competing-risks survival / basis function / random effects / joint models / CKD

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