Bayesian Fractional Polynomial Approach to Quantile Regression and Variable Selection with Application in the Analysis of Blood Pressure among US Adults

by   Sanna Soomro, et al.

Hypertension is a highly prevalent chronic medical condition and a strong risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD), as it accounts for more than 45% of CVD. The relation between blood pressure (BP) and its risk factors cannot be explored clearly by standard linear models. Although the fractional polynomials (FPs) can act as a concise and accurate formula for examining smooth relationships between response and predictors, modelling conditional mean functions observes the partial view of a distribution of response variable, as the distributions of many response variables such as BP measures are typically skew. Then modelling 'average' BP may link to CVD but extremely high BP could explore CVD insight deeply and precisely. So, existing mean-based FP approaches for modelling the relationship between factors and BP cannot answer key questions in need. Conditional quantile functions with FPs provide a comprehensive relationship between the response variable and its predictors, such as median and extremely high BP measures that may be often required in practical data analysis generally. To the best of our knowledge, this is new in the literature. Therefore, in this paper, we employ Bayesian variable selection with quantile-dependent prior for the FP model to propose a Bayesian variable selection with parametric nonlinear quantile regression model. The objective is to examine a nonlinear relationship between BP measures and their risk factors across median and upper quantile levels using data extracted from the 2007-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). The variable selection in the model analysis identified that the nonlinear terms of continuous variables (body mass index, age), and categorical variables (ethnicity, gender and marital status) were selected as important predictors in the model across all quantile levels.


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