Experimental Cohort Studies Essay

Experimental Cohort Studies Essay

Cohort studies are a type of medical research used to investigate the causes of disease and to establish links between risk factors and health outcomes. The word cohort means a group of people. These types of studies look at groups of people. They can be forward-looking (prospective) or backward-looking (retrospective). From question 1 of our assignment, this was a study of a retrospective cohort study showing the association between reserpine, breast cancer in women and obesity. From the 2 X 2 table, it was determined Reserpine is a risk factor among the non-obese, the rate ratio is 6.40/4.10 = 1.6. Obesity is a risk factor among women who did not take reserpine, the rate ratio is 8.30/4.10 = 2.0. the group of reserpine non-users avoids potential confounding by reserpine. Looking at Confounding is a bias because it can result in a distortion in the measure of association between an exposure and health outcome. For the confounder associated with the exposure, this association has to be greater than 1 (for a harmful association) or less than 1 (for a protective association). A confounding variable is a variable (say, pollution) that can cause the disease under study (cancer) and is also associated with the exposure of interest (smoking). The existence of confounding variables in smoking studies made it difficult to establish a clear causal link between smoking and cancer unless appropriate methods were used to adjust for the effect of the confounders (Baumgarten & Olsen, 2004). In question 2 this was the same issue when understanding pollution relation to COPD, the determination from this that smoking was not a confounder.


Baumgarten, M & Olsen, C. Confounding in Epidemiology. Retrieved from https://www.unav.edu/documents/16089811/16216616/C…

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