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st: suppressing low frequency observations in tabulation

From   Kevin McConeghy <>
Subject   st: suppressing low frequency observations in tabulation
Date   Wed, 24 Oct 2012 17:08:00 -0500

Hello everyone,

I have a large dataset, roughly 6.5mill obs, which is the FDA adverse
event database. Variable drugname is the string describing the drug.

. describe drugname

              storage  display     value
variable name   type   format      label      variable label
drugname        str30  %30s

I want to create a frequency table of the top 25 drug "offenders" in
the database, however I am having trouble figuring out how to get
STATA to perform the tab drugname command without including all the
low frequency observations from random drugs (which causes stata to
stop the command becuase "too many values"). I can't see an option for
this in the syntax. Any advice on how to filter out all the background
noise for this?

Kevin McConeghy, PharmD
Infectious Diseases Fellow
University of Illinois College of Pharmacy
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