Variable Categories

SEER*Stat variables are organized in categories that are displayed as folders throughout the program. The folder name describes the types of variables included in the category. To access the variables, double-click the category name or click the plus sign (+) next to it. The following icons are used to designate the types of variables in the database.

Standard variable

represents a standard variable

Unsaved user-defined or merged variable

represents a user-defined or merged variable created for the session, but not saved in the dictionary

Saved user-defined or merged variable

represents a user-defined or merged variable saved in the database dictionary

Calculated variable

represents a calculated variable

Unsaved Calculated Variable

represents a user-defined calculated variable created for the session, but not saved in the dictionary

Saved Calculated Variable

represents a user-defined calculated variable saved in the database dictionary

 

Categories of SEER Variables

An incidence or mortality database designed for the calculation of age-adjusted rates contains variables from three data sources: standard population data, population data, and case data. Categories can only contain variables found in the same type or types of data files. Age at Diagnosis is the only variable found in all three data sources. Therefore, a separate category is provided for it, which contains only one variable. Race, sex, year of diagnosis, and geographic location variables are found in the population and case data. The variables found in both the population and case data are filed in a single category.

The category containing variables in all three data sources, Age at Diagnosis, is always listed first. The category containing variables in the population and case data is always listed second. All other standard variable categories contain variables that are found only in the case data; this includes categories such as stage, site and morphology, and extent of disease. User variable categories are listed last.

There are age, race, and geographic variables in the case data that are not found in standard population or population data. For example, standard population and population data are not provided for single year ages. These data are typically provided for five-year age groups. The case data contains an age variable with single year ages that is not linked with the standard population or population data. This variable cannot be used for calculations involving age-adjustment.  Likewise, race and geographic variables not found in the population data cannot be used for rate calculations.

User Variable Categories

When you create or edit a user-defined variable, you choose which user variable category to store it in. The categories for user variables are at the bottom of the list on the Dictionary dialog. To create, rename, or delete categories, or to move user-defined variables between categories, use the Categories button on the Dictionary dialog to open the User Variable Categories dialog.

Note that only user-defined variables can be moved, and only between user-defined variable categories. Standard, merged, and session-type-specific variables are always displayed in their reserved categories.

On the User Variable Categories dialog, highlight the names of categories in the Categories box to see which variables they contain. The Category Variables box lists the variables that are already in the highlighted category, and the Available Variables box lists all user-defined variables that are not in it. Highlight a variable in either of these boxes, and use the arrow buttons between the boxes to move it to the other.

To create a new category: click Add, type a name for the category, and press ENTER.

To rename a category: highlight it, click Rename, type the new name, and press ENTER.

To delete a category: highlight it and click Delete. Any variables that were in a deleted category will automatically be moved to the "User-Defined" category.

The default "User-Defined" category cannot be renamed or deleted.

When you are done editing categories on this dialog, click OK to save your changes and return to the Dictionary dialog, or click Cancel to return without saving your changes.