# Do case-control studies always estimate odds ratios?

Table of Contents

## Do case-control studies always estimate odds ratios?

We demonstrate that not all case-control study designs estimate odds ratios. Only studies using specific case-control designs should report odds ratios, whereas the case-cohort and incidence-density sampled case-control studies must report risk ratio and incidence rate ratios, respectively.

## Can you calculate risk in a case-control study?

Key Concept: In a study that is designed and conducted as a case-control study, you cannot calculate incidence. Therefore, you cannot calculate risk ratio or risk difference. You can only calculate an odds ratio.

## Is case-control the same as case report?

Case-control and cohort studies are observational studies that lie near the middle of the hierarchy of evidence. These types of studies, along with randomised controlled trials, constitute analytical studies, whereas case reports and case series define descriptive studies (1).

## How to calculate the odds ratio in a case control study?

In the analysis stage, calculate the frequency of each of the measured variables in each of the two groups. As a measure of the strength of the association between an exposure and the outcome, case-control studies yield the odds ratio.

## How are case control studies different from cohort studies?

The sampling strategy for a case-control study is very different from that of cohort studies, despite the fact that both have the goal of estimating the magnitude of association between the exposure and the outcome. In a case-control study there is no “follow-up” period.

## Is it possible to over match in case control studies?

Although controls must be like the cases in many ways, it is possible to over-match. Over-matching can make it difficult to find enough controls. Also, once a matching variable has been selected, it is not possible to analyse it as a risk factor.

## Why are case control studies important in epidemiology?

Case-control studies are sometimes less valued for being retrospective. However, they can be a very efficient way of identifying an association between an exposure and an outcome. Sometimes they are the only ethical way to investigate an association.