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different types of studies - (Jul/09/2012 )


I’m new to this area of research but would soon have to design a study to measure a particulat protein the serum of cancer patients vs healthy controls. Can someone help me uderstand case-control study, retrospective study and a longitudinal study.

Also, what does it mean when they say ‘the data was adjusted for age, sex etc’. Does this mean that age or sex did not have any effect what was being measured (e.g. prognosis, diagnosis)? Also what are confounding factors?

Based on what I’ve read so far, a retrospective study analyses the patient data that already have a particular disease. A longitudinal study will observe the patient clinical situation over time. What is a case-control study? Is it also a retrospective study?

Any help would be much appreciated.


Case control is where you have matched age/sex/anything else where the disease is studied by looking at people who have the disease comparing to those who don't.