Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below

Statistical analysis of molecular epidemiology studies employing case-series.

Author information

  • 1Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, New York, New York 10021.


The case-series design is being used increasingly to explore associations between environmental risk factors and genetic markers. It is demonstrated that the odds ratio derived from a case-series study is the ratio of the relative risk for developing marker-positive disease to the relative risk for developing marker-negative disease. This parameter is an empirical manifestation of etiological heterogeneity with respect to the risk factor under study, and it can be used to construct a statistical significance test. Presence of etiological heterogeneity, as reflected in departures of this parameter from unity, could be a result of either the presence of distinct causal mechanisms for the two categories of cases, or a different strength of effect via the same mechanism. The case-series approach represents an efficient and valid approach for evaluating gene-environment associations, especially in referral centers where it is difficult to identify a valid control group.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk