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The basic epidemiological study designs are cross-sectional, case-control, and cohort studies. Cross-sectional studies provide a snapshot of a population by determining both exposures and outcomes at one time point. Cohort studies identify the study groups based on the exposure and, then, the researchers follow up study participants to measure outcomes. Case-control studies identify the study groups based on the outcome, and the researchers retrospectively collect the exposure of interest. The present chapter discusses the basic concepts, the advantages, and disadvantages of epidemiological study designs and their systematic biases, including selection bias, information bias, and confounding.

Original publication




Journal article


Methods Mol Biol

Publication Date





1 - 6


Bias, Case-control study, Cohort study, Confounding, Information bias, Observational studies, Selection bias, Study design, Case-Control Studies, Cohort Studies, Cross-Sectional Studies, Epidemiologic Research Design, Follow-Up Studies, Humans