The Cox model with frailties has been popular for regression analysis of clustered event time data under right censoring. However, due to the lack of reliable computation algorithms, the frailty Cox model has been rarely applied to clustered current status data, where the clustered event times are subject to a special type of interval censoring such that we only observe for each event time whether it exceeds an examination (censoring) time or not. Motivated by the cataract dataset from a cross-sectional study, where bivariate current status data were observed for the occurrence of cataracts in the right and left eyes of each study subject, we develop a very efficient and stable computation algorithm for nonparametric maximum likelihood estimation of gamma-frailty Cox models with clustered current status data. The algorithm proposed is based on a set of self-consistency equations and the contraction principle. A convenient profile-likelihood approach is proposed for variance estimation. Simulation and real data analysis exhibit the nice performance of our proposal.
Computational Statistics and Data Analysis 55(2), pp.1053-1060