Benchmark Dose Software

CatReg Software for Categorical Regression Analysis (Aug 2012)


EPA is announcing an update to CatReg. The new CatReg version 2.3 is not only compatible with Microsoft Windows, but will also run in Mac OS X systems, with R-2.15.1 for Mac OS X installed. Functionality and plot display on both Windows and OS X platforms should be the same.. Version 2.3 of CatReg and a "readme" file describing the changes it includes can be downloaded from the "get the report" link below. In the upcoming months, EPA will also be releasing a new Windows-based beta version (version 3.0 beta) of CatReg. Check this website again in future months to obtain important CatReg information such as software updates and details regarding upcoming training opportunities.


CatReg is a computer program, written in the R ( programming language, to support the conduct of exposure-response analyses by toxicologists and health scientists. CatReg can be used to perform categorical regression analyses on toxicity data after effects have been assigned to ordinal severity categories (e.g., no effect, adverse effect, severe effect) and associated with up to two independent variables corresponding to the exposure conditions (e.g., concentration and duration) under which the effects occurred. CatReg calculates the probabilities of the different severity categories over the continuum of the variables describing exposure conditions. The categorization of observed responses allows expression of dichotomous, continuous, and descriptive data in terms of effect severity and supports the analysis of data from single studies or a combination of similar studies.

There are many potential applications of the CatReg program in the analysis of health effects studies and other types of data. The software was developed to support toxicity assessment for acute inhalation exposures, but the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) encourages the broad application of this software. CatReg can be run in the Microsoft Windows environment and any other computer operating system tha supports the R statistical program ( Knowledge of the R programming language is not required.

The CatReg 2.1 software is still supported by the CatReg Software User Manual (R-version) (U.S. EPA, 2006) (94 pp, 925 KB, about PDF). The User Manual provides a technical description of the statistical methods used by the program, along with instructions for installing the software, creating data input files, performing analyses, using hypothesis testing and diagnostics, and plotting graphics. Potential users are encouraged to examine the user manual, which contains illustrated examples, for ideas on adapting CatReg for their own applications.

CatReg reads data from ordinary text files in which data are separated by commas. A query-based interface guides the user through the modeling process. Simple commands provide model summary statistics, parameter estimates, diagnostics, and graphical displays [refer to the CatReg Training Slides from 2007 (114 pp, 752 KB, about PDF). for more information].

The special features offered by CatReg include options for:

  • stratifying the analysis by user-specified covariates (e.g., species, sex, etc.)
  • choosing among several basic forms of the exposure-response curve;
  • using effects assigned to a range of severity categories, rather than a single category;
  • using cluster-correlated data;
  • including user-specified weights;
  • using aggregate data; and
  • query-based exclusion of user-specified data (i.e., filtering) for sensitivity analysis.


EPA will be releasing a new Windows-based beta version (version 3.0 beta) of CatReg in Fall 2012.


Date Description
01-Feb 2000EPA developed CatReg documentation and software (S-PLUSĀ® version)
02-Apr 2000EPA published CatReg user manual (S-PLUSĀ® version).
03-Aug 2006EPA released version 2.0 (R-version) of the Catreg Software for Categorical Regression Analysis tool.
04-Nov 2006EPA released the draft, CatReg Software User Manual (R-version) (U.S. EPA, 2006) (94 pp, 925 KB, about PDF).
05-Dec 2006EPA added the CSV Sample files (Zip).
06-Apr 2007EPA posted the CatReg Training Slides (114 pp, 752 KB, about PDF).
07-Feb 2011EPA released CatReg version 2.1.
08-Jul 2012EPA released CatReg version 2.2.
09-Aug 2012EPA released CatReg version 2.3.

Additional Information

The CatReg Software User Manual (R-version) (U.S. EPA, 2006) (94 pp, 925 KB, about PDF) contains installation instructions for CatReg. The CatReg software files are those with the .R extension: catreg.R, ecdata.R, util.R, winplot.R, and winstall.R. EPA welcomes comments on the CatReg software and potential applications. Please provide questions or recommendations to

This document has been reviewed in accordance with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency policy and approved for publication. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute endorsement or recommendation for use.