A Bayesian Semiparametric Approach for Incorporating Longitudinal Information on Exposure History for Inference in Case–Control Studies


email: mdaniels@stat.ufl.edu


Summary In a typical case–control study, exposure information is collected at a single time point for the cases and controls. However, case–control studies are often embedded in existing cohort studies containing a wealth of longitudinal exposure history about the participants. Recent medical studies have indicated that incorporating past exposure history, or a constructed summary measure of cumulative exposure derived from the past exposure history, when available, may lead to more precise and clinically meaningful estimates of the disease risk. In this article, we propose a flexible Bayesian semiparametric approach to model the longitudinal exposure profiles of the cases and controls and then use measures of cumulative exposure based on a weighted integral of this trajectory in the final disease risk model. The estimation is done via a joint likelihood. In the construction of the cumulative exposure summary, we introduce an influence function, a smooth function of time to characterize the association pattern of the exposure profile on the disease status with different time windows potentially having differential influence/weights. This enables us to analyze how the present disease status of a subject is influenced by his/her past exposure history conditional on the current ones. The joint likelihood formulation allows us to properly account for uncertainties associated with both stages of the estimation process in an integrated manner. Analysis is carried out in a hierarchical Bayesian framework using reversible jump Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithms. The proposed methodology is motivated by, and applied to a case–control study of prostate cancer where longitudinal biomarker information is available for the cases and controls.