The case control study is the most common type of epidemiologic study design. It is often used to determine preliminary information about the etiology of a disease. In this type of study, cases and controls are selected on the basis of the outcome status of interest and the frequency and/or dosage of the exposure in question is compared between the groups. In late-effect studies, the case-control design is somewhat uncommon because the exposure of interest (specific cancer treatment) is already known. However, case-control studies nested within cohort studies are often employed in late-effect research (see description of nested case-control studies, below).
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