Analytical study of a group sharing several similar characteristics, such as habit of smoking or a particular disease. The study group is simultaneously monitored closely over time with another contrasting group, such as group of non-smokers or do not have the disease. Although a more tedious approach, typical case study approaches are not feasible, causing too many statistical problems, or typically produces unreliable results. That is why this method is used. Known also as follow up study.

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