Case-control studies: basic concepts

Int J Epidemiol. 2012 Oct;41(5):1480-9. doi: 10.1093/ije/dys147.


The purpose of this article is to present in elementary mathematical and statistical terms a simple way to quickly and effectively teach and understand case-control studies, as they are commonly done in dynamic populations-without using the rare disease assumption. Our focus is on case-control studies of disease incidence ('incident case-control studies'); we will not consider the situation of case-control studies of prevalent disease, which are published much less frequently.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies*
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical*
  • Epidemiologic Methods
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Population Dynamics
  • Research Design*