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Assessment of exposure-outcome relationship in cross-sectional study designs: is a time dimension mandatory?


When conducting epidemiological studies, different study designs exist depending on the objectives and the study population. Among these designs, one is a cross-sectional study. Despite its several merits, especially among low and middle income countries where the disease burden is heavy, several reports based on cross-sectional study designs suffer in their credibility; one of which is difficulties in controlling of potential bias. In this review, we discuss another irregularity that is most common when analyzing secondary data to assess exposure-outcome association in analytical cross-sectional studies.


analytical study, cross-sectional study design, exposure-outcome, secondary data