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Question:

Are there outliers in any of the variables? Which statistics are most appropriate to summarize the average or typical values and the dispersion for each variable?

Answer:

In the full sample, each of the characteristics has outliers on the upper end of the distribution as the maximum values exceed the upper limits in each case. There are also outliers on the low end for diastolic blood pressure and total cholesterol, since the minimums are below the lower limits.

For some of these characteristics, the difference between the upper limit and the maximum (or the lower limit and the minimum) is small (e.g., height, systolic and diastolic blood pressures), while for others (e.g., total cholesterol, weight and body mass index) the difference is much larger. This method for determining outliers is a popular one but not generally applied as a hard and fast rule. In this application it would be reasonable to present means and standard deviations for height, systolic and diastolic blood pressures and medians and interquartile ranges for total cholesterol, weight and body mass index.

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