Mixed effect Poisson log-linear models for clinical and epidemiological sleep hypnogram data

Bruce J. Swihart, Brian S. Caffo, Ciprian M. Crainiceanu, Naresh M. Punjabi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Bayesian Poisson log-linear multilevel models scalable to epidemiological studies are proposed to investigate population variability in sleep state transition rates. Hierarchical random effects are used to account for pairings of subjects and repeated measures within those subjects, as comparing diseased with non-diseased subjects while minimizing bias is of importance. Essentially, non-parametric piecewise constant hazards are estimated and smoothed, allowing for time-varying covariates and segment of the night comparisons. The Bayesian Poisson regression is justified through a re-derivation of a classical algebraic likelihood equivalence of Poisson regression with a log(time) offset and survival regression assuming exponentially distributed survival times. Such re-derivation allows synthesis of two methods currently used to analyze sleep transition phenomena: stratified multi-state proportional hazards models and log-linear generalized estimating equations (GEE) models for transition counts. An example data set from the Sleep Heart Health Study is analyzed. Supplementary material includes the analyzed data set as well as the code for a reproducible analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)855-870
Number of pages16
JournalStatistics in Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Apr 30 2012


  • Competing risks
  • Frailties
  • Hypnogram
  • Multi-state models
  • Recurrent event
  • Sleep
  • Survival analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Statistics and Probability


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