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Differences between Case Control and Cohort Studies

The differences between case control and cohort studies may be summarized as follows:

Case Control Study

Cohort Study

       Proceeds from effect to cause


  1. Proceeds from cause to effect


       Starts with disease


  1. Starts with healthy people


       Tests whether the suspected cause occurs more frequently in those with disease than those among without disease.


  1. Tests whether disease occurs more frequently in those exposed or in those not exposed.


       Usually the first approach for testing the hypothesis.


  1. Reserved for testing of precisely formulated hypothesis.


       Involves fewer no of subjects


  1. Involves larger no of subjects


       Yields relatively quick results


  1. Yields delayed results


       Suitable for study of rare diseases


  1. Inappropriate for rare diseases


       Generally yields only estimate of OR


  1. Yields Incidence, RR & AR


       Cannot yield info about diseases other than that selected for study


  1. Can yield information about more than one disease.


       Relatively inexpensive

  1. Expensive


Read more about study designs…

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