Statistics in epidemiology: the case-control study

J Am Stat Assoc. 1996 Mar;91(433):14-28. doi: 10.1080/01621459.1996.10476660.


This article presents a general review of the major trends in the conceptualization, development, and success of case-control methods for the study of disease causation and prevention. "Recent work on nested case-control, case-cohort, and two-stage case control designs demonstrates the continuing impact of statistical thinking on epidemiology. The influence of R. A. Fisher's work on these developments is mentioned wherever possible. His objections to the drawing of causal conclusions from observational data on cigarette smoking and lung cancer are used to introduce the problems of measurement error and confounding bias."

MeSH terms

  • Behavior
  • Bias*
  • Disease*
  • Epidemiology*
  • Health
  • Neoplasms*
  • Public Health
  • Research Design*
  • Research*
  • Smoking*