Objective measurement of physical activity using wearable devices such as accelerometers may provide tantalizing new insights into the association between activity and health outcomes. Accelerometers can record quasi-continuous activity information for many days and for hundreds of individuals. For example, in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study on Aging physical activity was recorded every minute for 773 adults for an average of 7 days per adult. An important scientific problem is to separate and quantify the systematic and random circadian patterns of physical activity as functions of time of day, age, and gender. To capture the systematic circadian pattern, we introduce a practical bivariate smoother and two crucial innovations: (i) estimating the smoothing parameter using leave-one-subject-out cross validation to account for within-subject correlation and (ii) introducing fast computational techniques that overcome problems both with the size of the data and with the cross-validation approach to smoothing. The age-dependent random patterns are analyzed by a new functional principal component analysis that incorporates both covariate dependence and multilevel structure. For the analysis, we propose a practical and very fast trivariate spline smoother to estimate covariate-dependent covariances and their spectra. Results reveal several interesting, previously unknown, circadian patterns associated with human aging and gender.

Direct Link: https://doi.org/10.1093/biostatistics/kxu045

Journal: Biostatistics. 2015 Apr 1;16(2):352-67

Keywords: Baltimore Longitudinal Study, bivariate smoother, Circadian rhythm, covariate, health outcomes, Physical Activity,

Applications: Physical Activity,

CamNtech Reference: AH15060

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