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st: help with conditional loop


From   Shawn Bauldry <sbauldry@email.unc.edu>
To   statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
Subject   st: help with conditional loop
Date   Sat, 05 Aug 2006 13:56:22 -0400

I think I have a fairly simple loop question that I can't seem to get my
head around.

I have a series of variables, say x1-x30, that correspond to months in a
program (a value of 1 indicates a person was present in the program in a
given month).  I simply want to find the first month a person shows up.

I tried the following, but it's not working and I'm not sure why.

gen FirstContact = .
local i = 0
while FirstContact == . {
	local i = `i' + 1
	replace FirstContact = `i' if x`i' == 1
}

The code runs without error, but does not find the correct first month
someone shows up.  For example, in one case I have:

x1 = ., x2 = 1, x3 = 1, x4 = 1, x5 = 1, x6 = 1, ... and it returns
FirstContact = 5.


Any thoughts on how to make this code work or better code are much
appreciated.


Thanks,
Shawn
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