Journal article

Multiple imputation of semi-continuous exposure variables that are categorized for analysis

Cattram D Nguyen, Margarita Moreno-Betancur, Laura Rodwell, Helena Romaniuk, John B Carlin, Katherine J Lee

STATISTICS IN MEDICINE | WILEY | Published : 2021

Abstract

Semi-continuous variables are characterized by a point mass at one value and a continuous range of values for remaining observations. An example is alcohol consumption quantity, with a spike of zeros representing non-drinkers and positive values for drinkers. If multiple imputation is used to handle missing values for semi-continuous variables, it is unclear how this should be implemented within the standard approaches of fully conditional specification (FCS) and multivariate normal imputation (MVNI). This question is brought into focus by the use of categorized versions of semi-continuous exposure variables in analyses (eg, no drinking, drinking below binge level, binge drinking, heavy bing..

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