You conduct a case-control study of elevated cholesterol and myocardial infarction (MI). Of 20 MI cases, 10 had elevated cholesterol. Of 30 healthy controls, 10 had elevated cholesterol. These results give an odds ratio (OR) of 2.0, with a 95% confidence interval (CI) $ = [0.6-6.4]$.

Interpret the CI?

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ This looks like standard bookwork (especially given the start 'You conduct...' - I don't!). If this is for some subject, or even just for your personal study, please add the self-study tag and read its tag wiki info $\endgroup$
    – Glen_b
    Oct 20, 2013 at 22:01

1 Answer 1


The OR in your sample is 2. You don't know the exact odds ratio in the corresponding population, but at least you can be 95% confident that it is somewhere between 0.6 and 6.4. Since the interval contains the value 1 (no relation between MI and elevated cholesterol), you cannot claim that there is truely such relation.

  • $\begingroup$ observed OR is 2 statistically significant different than the null value(using 2 sided type 1 error rate of 0.05) $\endgroup$
    – Malai
    Oct 20, 2013 at 20:02
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    $\begingroup$ In fact, the results are not statistically significant. The P value with Fisher's exact test is 0.26, and 0.38 with a chi-square test (with Yate's correction). $\endgroup$ Nov 20, 2013 at 1:21

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