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st: RE: destring

From   "Nick Cox" <>
To   <>
Subject   st: RE: destring
Date   Wed, 1 Aug 2007 22:50:59 +0100

I posted a quasi-tutorial on this general area a short while 
back. It may help understanding of the numeric <-> string 
conversion problems (and they are problems, not a single


There is no reason why -encode- should not be used. 
String variables can have embedded numeric characters. 
That's absolutely no reason against using -encode-. 
It may not help much but it is legal and a practical

Otherwise, I think you need to look for substrings 
like "200 MG/ML" using -strpos()- (-index()- in 
old Stata versions). The string functions are
your friend here. 

strpos(drug_1, "200 MG/ML") 

will be positive if "200 MG/ML" is included and
zero otherwise. 

-destring- is no use to you at all. 

I don't understand what an "explore variable" is. 


P chrisman
> I am having a great deal of trouble changing strings to 
> numeric. I have 
> a variable "drug_1" that  is a strg40 with 32 unique values 
> (I did not 
> create this data set!). Examples are:
>                          "TESTOSTERONE CYP 200MG/ML INJ (IN OIL)  "
>                          "TESTOSTERONE ENANTH. 200MG/ML   1ML     "
>                          "TESTOSTERONE ENANTHATE 200MG/ML INJ 5ML "
>                          "TESTOSTERONE ENANTHATE 200MG/ML INJ 5ML "
>                             TESTOSTERONE (ANDRODERM) 5MG/24HRS PATCH
> Drug dose is the explore variable and the PI wants to look at 
> outcome by 
> mode of administration and dose, so for the example here I 
> need to have 
> a drug_1 variable with mode 1=IM  and 2=patch and dose 200mg/ml, 
> 200mg/5ml and 5mg/24hr.
> I have tried encode, but I do not think I can use that because the 
> strings also contain numbers(please correct if this is not true). I 
> tried destring with the following errors:
> destring Drug_1, replace
> Drug_1 contains non-numeric characters; no replace
> . destring Drug_1, replace ignore("testosterone")
> Drug_1 contains characters not specified in ignore(); no replace
> I could not find anything in FAQ that was similar to this problem. I 
> would appreciate ANY HELP as I have drug_1 through drug_5 for 384 
> subjects and can do this the long and painful way, but would 
> prefer not.

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