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st: Exposure/offset and independent variables


From   Evan Cole <cole.s.evan@gmail.com>
To   statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
Subject   st: Exposure/offset and independent variables
Date   Mon, 29 Apr 2013 09:03:01 -0500

Stata users,

I am trying to estimate the number of emergency room visits for the
patient populations of different clinics.
I am using a negative binomial model with the number of patients at
the clinic as the exposure option.
The outcome is the count of ER visits.
I also control for certain characteristics of the patient population,
including the number of patients with 2+ chronic diseases, average
age, and the number of patients that are adult female.
My question is how to treat the independent variables.  If I use the
number of patients with 2+ chronic diseases, will my exposure variable
of total number of patients turn that variable into a rate?  Or should
I put that variable in the model as a rate (% of patient population
with 2+ chronic diseases)?
These two approaches give me very different results.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Evan
Doctoral Candidate
Tulane University
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