Response rates are an important component of epidemiologic research. The purposes of this study are (a) to evaluate how response rates are defined and calculated for control subjects in epidemiologic case-control studies, and (b) to explore factors that may impact response in epidemiologic studies. Our results show that the method of control subject selection has an impact on study response. Gender of respondent does not appear to impact response rates. However, response rates are generally worse for individuals less than 45 years old. Methods used to calculate response have a great impact on "response rate"; therefore, it is important for researchers to define exactly what the reported response rates represent and how they are derived so that data can be interpreted appropriately.