Additive partially linear model for pooled biomonitoring data


Human biomonitoring involves monitoring human health by measuring the accumulation of harmful chemicals, typically in specimens like blood samples. The high cost of chemical analysis has led researchers to adopt a cost-effective approach. This approach physically combines specimens and subsequently analyzes the concentration of toxic substances within the merged pools. Consequently, there arises a need for innovative regression techniques to effectively interpret these aggregated measurements. To address this need, a new regression framework is proposed by extending the additive partially linear model (APLM) to accommodate the pooling context. The APLM is well-known for its versatility in capturing the complex association between outcomes and covariates, which is particularly valuable in assessing the complex interplay between chemical bioaccumulation and potential risk factors. Consistent estimators of the APLM are obtained through an iterative process that disaggregates information from the pooled observations. The performance is evaluated through simulations and an environmental health study focused on brominated flame retardants using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

Publication Title

Computational Statistics and Data Analysis