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Often the aim of medical research projects is to study the relationship between an outcome variable on the one hand, say Y, and one or more other variables on the other hand, say X1, X2, …, Xp. For instance, Y = diastolic blood pressure, and X1 = age, X2 = gender, X3 = body weight, X4 = salt intake, and so on. In this context, the outcome variable Y is also called the dependent variable or the response variable. The Xs are also called independent variables, explanatory variables, predictor variables, or simply covariates. Based on a sample of subjects from the population of interest in which the dependent and independent variables are observed, the statistical relationship between the variables can be studied using a statistical ...

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