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The process of establishing criteria for comparing individuals and groups that includes a careful search for similarities among individuals, as well as differences, that might contribute to or reduce the risk of confounding variables that vitiate the results of analysis. Matching may be done with individuals or with groups or grouped data. At its simplest, matching employs basic criteria (age, sex, occupation) and may include ethnicity, place of residence, income, dietary practices, or many other selected variables according to research design requirements.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.

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