In a case-control study certain diseases and their possible causes – such as a possible connection with a drug therapy – are examined. For this purpose, a group of people with a particular disease (cases) are compared with a group of people who do not have this disease (controls).
Case-control studies are retrospective studies; since recourse to existing data is done. It is determined whether in the past exposure to potential risk factors was present.
Due to the retrospective study design case-control studies provide very fast results and they are suitable for use in rare diseases. However, they cannot explain about the actual risk of a disease at exposure or non-exposure, only provide an approximation of the relative risk. These types of studies allow the determination of comparative data to application security, benefits and quality of life.
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