Date: Tue, 20 Jun 2006 17:14:47 -0400 Doc Muhlbaier "SAS(r) Discussion" Doc Muhlbaier Duke University, Durham, NC, USA Re: What is Differnce Between Continous and Discrete Lab Variables To: sas-l@uga.edu

Same as in mathematics. Continuous data can, conceptually, have an infinite number of values and between any two values, there can be an infinite number of divisions (In math-speak, the data are of order alef-1 (alef is the letter in the Hebrew alphabet that looks like a script N).). Discrete data may, or may not, have an infinite number of values; discrete data are at most of order alef-0.

Because of measurement constraints, any lab value is, in a practical sense, discrete. Continuous lab data can have an infinite number of possible values, even though we can only measure them with limited precision.

Discrete data can be on an interval scale (the integer part of a person's height in feet), an ordinal scale (grade of angina), or a nominal scale (Hair Color). In practice, discrete just means a limited number of choices.

Note, continuous lab data often comes with a discrete component. Often you will see "<1" or ">100,000," which generally represents the litations of the equipment used to make the measurements.

Doc Muhlbaier Duke

"Sami" <sbindra@gmail.com> wrote in message news:1150833033.745765.239810@r2g2000cwb.googlegroups.com... > What is Differnce Between Continous and Discrete Lab Variables? > > Thanks, > Sami. >

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