• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Case-control studies are a nonexperimental form of medical research that informs cause-effect relationships. Their main purpose is the identification of risk factors for events of interest. Most famously, case-control studies provided the first evidence of a strong association between cigarette smoking and lung cancer. However, findings from a number of recent case-control studies have been subsequently contradicted or found to overestimate the strength of relationships compared with more robust epidemiological study designs. An example is the case-control finding that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) had a protective effect against coronary heart disease, following which randomized trial evidence identified a small increased risk associated with HRT.

Case-control studies identify cases as patients who already have a disease or condition of interest, and then attempt to identify characteristics ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles