Confounding is a situation that arises when there is a third variable in a study or analysis that affects both the utilization of a drug or medical procedure (or the decision to avoid it) and also changes the likelihood of a particular outcome being studied. This third variable can introduce bias or distortion into the observed association between the drug or procedure and the outcome under investigation.
In simpler terms, confounding variables are factors that can make it seem like a drug or medical procedure is causing an effect when, in reality, another variable is responsible. For example, if a study finds that people who take a certain medication have a higher risk of heart disease, it may initially appear that the medication is the cause. However, confounding may occur if it’s later discovered that the people taking the medication are also more likely to have an unhealthy diet, which is a known risk factor for heart disease. In this case, diet is a confounding variable that influences both the use of the medication and the risk of heart disease.
Identifying and accounting for confounding variables is crucial in research and epidemiology to ensure that the true relationship between a drug or medical procedure and an outcome is accurately understood and not distorted by other factors. Various statistical techniques and study designs are used to control for confounding and obtain more reliable and meaningful results.
Confounding by Indication
Contact our experts today
Composed of proven experts from the pharmaceutical industry, our team is ready to answer to your needs in any
area of product development, commercialisation and early access programs, and life cycle management