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analytical studyA comparative study designed to reach causal inferences about hypothesised relationships between risk factors and outcome. Analytical studies identify and quantify associations, test hypotheses, identify causes and determine whether an association exists between variables, such as between an exposure and a disease. Statistical procedures are used to determine if a relationship is likely to have occurred by chance alone. Analytical studies usually compare two or more groups or sets of data.
Case-control study, cohort study, randomised-controlled clinical trial, lab study.