Prospective (cohort) study

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A study in which the study population is characterised at the start of the study and followed into the future. A population of people who do not (yet) have the disease under investigation is identified, and information is collected on the subjects' exposure to risk factors generally including nutritional factors. The frequency of the disease among subjects exposed to a particular risk factor during the follow up period is compared with the frequency among those who were not exposed.

Source: Biotechnology Glossary