Case-Control Studies in Aging Research

  • Sergio Sánchez-GarcíaEmail author
  • Erika Heredia-Ponce
  • Luis Pablo Cruz-Hervert
  • Ángel Cárdenas-Bahena
  • Laura Bárbara Velázquez-Olmedo
  • Carmen García-Peña


In the planning phase of research related to age and aging, the quality of knowledge derived from epidemiological studies, depends heavily on the solidity of the methodological design and the strategies for collecting data designed to answer the research question. The classic design of case-control studies distinguishes between older adults who have a specific outcome or disease (cases) and those who do not (controls) and are determines whether the subjects were exposed or not to one or several factors to try to establish, retrospectively (that is, from the effect to the cause), the relationship of these factors with the disease. Case-control studies are a cost-effective alternative for providing a valid and reasonably precise estimate for identifying an association force of a hypothetical relationship cause-effect in studies related to older adults. Recently case-control studies have been related directly to cohort studies, which enabled researchers to design new patterns for their development while obtaining major benefits. The case-control study is the appropriate choice and at times the only alternative for studying diseases of very low incidence in older adults. With this type of study, it is possible to explore a broad range of related exposures to illness. Another important advantage is that they require smaller samples and are less costly than experimental designs or cohort studies. Among the disadvantages or drawbacks of this type of study is that it can only provide information about the event or target disease in the population that has been selected for carrying out the study.


Case-control studies Cause-effect Low-incidence studies 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sergio Sánchez-García
    • 1
    Email author
  • Erika Heredia-Ponce
    • 2
  • Luis Pablo Cruz-Hervert
    • 3
  • Ángel Cárdenas-Bahena
    • 1
  • Laura Bárbara Velázquez-Olmedo
    • 4
  • Carmen García-Peña
    • 5
  1. 1.Research Unit in Epidemiology and Health Services, Aging Area, National Medical Center Century XXIMexican Institute of Social SecurityMexico CityMexico
  2. 2.Department of Public Health and Oral Epidemiology, Faculty of DentistryNational Autonomous University of MexicoMexico CityMexico
  3. 3.Center for Research on Infectious DiseasesNational Institute of Public HealthMexico CityMexico
  4. 4.Faculty of DentistryNational Autonomous University of MexicoMexico CityMexico
  5. 5.Research DivisionNational Institute of GeriatricsMexico CityMexico

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