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JAMA Guide to Statistics and Methods
September 11, 2018

Case-Control Studies: Using “Real-world” Evidence to Assess Association

Author Affiliations
  • 1Office of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER), US Food and Drug Administration, Silver Spring, Maryland
JAMA. 2018;320(10):1027-1028. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.12115

Associations between patient characteristics or treatments received and clinical outcomes are often first described using observational data, such as data arising through usual clinical care without the experimental assignment of treatments that occurs in a randomized clinical trial (RCT). These data based on usual clinical care are referred to by some as “real-world” data. A key strategy for efficiently finding such associations is to use a case-control study.1 In a recent issue of JAMA Internal Medicine, Wang et al2 assessed the association between cardiovascular disease (CVD) and use of inhaled long-acting β2-agonists (LABAs) or long-acting antimuscarinic antagonists (LAMAs) in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), utilizing a nested case-control study.