Indexed on: 01 Oct '11Published on: 01 Oct '11Published in: Biometrics
We consider the penalized generalized estimating equations (GEEs) for analyzing longitudinal data with high-dimensional covariates, which often arise in microarray experiments and large-scale health studies. Existing high-dimensional regression procedures often assume independent data and rely on the likelihood function. Construction of a feasible joint likelihood function for high-dimensional longitudinal data is challenging, particularly for correlated discrete outcome data. The penalized GEE procedure only requires specifying the first two marginal moments and a working correlation structure. We establish the asymptotic theory in a high-dimensional framework where the number of covariates p(n) increases as the number of clusters n increases, and p(n) can reach the same order as n. One important feature of the new procedure is that the consistency of model selection holds even if the working correlation structure is misspecified. We evaluate the performance of the proposed method using Monte Carlo simulations and demonstrate its application using a yeast cell-cycle gene expression data set.