Uses of the case-control and cohort epidemiological approaches in pediatric practice and research

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Adolescent; Bronchitis; Child; *Epidemiologic Methods; Feeding Behavior; Humans; Infant; Infant, Newborn; *Pediatrics; Pneumonia; Prospective Studies; Retrospective Studies


Bioinformatics | Biostatistics | Epidemiology | Health Services Research


Increasing reliance is being placed on the use of quantitative epidemiological methods in the conduct and evaluation of pediatric research. The basic design features of two common types of observational studies, the case-control study and the cohort study, are reviewed. Advantages and disadvantages of these two study designs are discussed with emphasis on aspects such as the selection of comparison groups, avoiding selection and recall bias, gathering exposure information, controlling for potentially confounding factors, and methods of analysis. Appreciation of the salient features of these study design approaches should aid the clinician/researcher in the conduct of research endeavors as well as in critically reviewing the medical literature.


Pediatr Res. 1985 Aug;19(8):787-90.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Pediatric research

PubMed ID


Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed