Programming the statistical procedures from SAS

How to do subgroup analysis

Occasional Contributor Chi
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 5

How to do subgroup analysis

Dear all,

I was asked to do subgroup analyses, which I have never done before.:smileyconfused: I was wondering if anyone can help?

Outcome of interest:carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) -continuous variable

Adjusted variables  : age, sex, bmi, sbp, ldl, NO2, DM  (we also did multivariate linear regression)

Question 1. subgroup analyses for  2 groups: 50yr (0=younger than 50, 1= older than 50)

Question 2. Can we include interaction term in subgroup analysis? ex. 50yr * NO2



Trusted Advisor
Posts: 2,116

Re: How to do subgroup analysis

Basic subgroup analyses are done by sorting the data by the grouping variable and then using the BY statement on the PROC.  Another method, if only one subgroup is of interest, is to use the WHERE clause in the DATA= option of the PROC.

The subgrouping variable cannot be used in an interaction.

There are two general philosophies of analysis, lumping and splitting.  Subgroup analysis is a form of splitting.  Many statisticians (I'm one), prefer lumping.  I prefer it because it increases power and I think that I can interpret one model with interactions more easily than interpreting two separate models.  OTOH, I work with some epidemiologists who generally prefer to think about things as subgroups.

Doc Muhlbaier


Respected Advisor
Posts: 2,655

Re: How to do subgroup analysis

And it seems that FDA reviewers are in LOVE with subgroups, given their fascination with homogeneity/heterogeneity of effect sizes in the subgroups.  I suppose I understand it when it comes to writing labeling, but YOU CAN ANSWER THE SAME QUESTION, WITH GREATER POWER TO DETECT DIFFERENCES IF YOU MODEL THE DATA WITH INTERACTIONS. 

Thanks, Doc, thought I was alone in the desert on this one.

Steve Denham

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