Instrumental-Variables Simultaneous Equations Model of Physical Activity and Body Mass Index: The Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study
Department of Quantitative Health Sciences
Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Epidemiology | Public Health
We used full-system-estimation instrumental-variables simultaneous equations modeling (IV-SEM) to examine physical activity relative to body mass index (BMI; weight (kg)/height (m)(2)) using 25 years of data (1985/1986 to 2010/2011) from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study (n = 5,115; ages 18-30 years at enrollment). Neighborhood environment and sociodemographic instruments were used to characterize physical activity, fast-food consumption, smoking, alcohol consumption, marriage, and childbearing (women) and to predict BMI using semiparametric full-information maximum likelihood estimation to control for unobserved time-invariant and time-varying residual confounding and differential measurement error through model-derived discrete random effects. Comparing robust-variance ordinary least squares, random-effects regression, fixed-effects regression, single-equation-estimation IV-SEM, and full-system-estimation IV-SEM, estimates from random- and fixed-effects models and the full-system-estimation IV-SEM were unexpectedly similar, despite the lack of control for residual confounding with the random-effects estimator. Ordinary least squares tended to overstate the significance of health behaviors in BMI, while results from single-equation-estimation IV-SEM were notably different, revealing the impact of weak instruments in standard instrumental-variable methods. Our robust findings for fixed effects (which does not require instruments but has a high cost in lost degrees of freedom) and full-system-estimation IV-SEM (vs. standard IV-SEM) demonstrate potential for a full-system-estimation IV-SEM method even with weak instruments.
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Citation: Am J Epidemiol. 2016 Sep 15;184(6):465-76. doi: 10.1093/aje/kww010. Epub 2016 Sep 9. Link to article on publisher's site
UMCCTS funding, body mass index, endogeneity, epidemiologic methods, fixed effects, health behaviors, instrumental variables, semiparametric methods, simultaneous equations
Meyer, Katie A.; Guilkey, David K.; Tien, Hsiao-Chuen; Kiefe, Catarina I.; Popkin, Barry M.; and Gordon-Larsen, Penny, "Instrumental-Variables Simultaneous Equations Model of Physical Activity and Body Mass Index: The Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study" (2016). University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications. 1274.