Annals of Clinical Epidemiology
Online ISSN : 2434-4338
Introduction to Matching in Case-Control and Cohort Studies
Masao Iwagami Tomohiro Shinozaki
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2022 年 4 巻 2 号 p. 33-40


Matching is a technique through which patients with and without an outcome of interest (in case-control studies) or patients with and without an exposure of interest (in cohort studies) are sampled from an underlying cohort to have the same or similar distributions of some characteristics. This technique is used to increase the statistical efficiency and cost efficiency of studies. In case-control studies, besides time in risk set sampling, controls are often matched for each case with respect to important confounding factors, such as age and sex, and covariates with a large number of values or levels, such as area of residence (e.g., post code) and clinics/hospitals. In the statistical analysis of matched case-control studies, fixed-effect models such as the Mantel-Haenszel odds ratio estimator and conditional logistic regression model are needed to stratify matched case-control sets and remove selection bias artificially introduced by sampling controls. In cohort studies, exact matching is used to increase study efficiency and remove or reduce confounding effects of matching factors. Propensity score matching is another matching method whereby patients with and without exposure are matched based on estimated propensity scores to receive exposure. If appropriately used, matching can improve study efficiency without introducing bias and could also present results that are more intuitive for clinicians.

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