Confounding factor

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Confounding factor

(Science: epidemiology) factors that can cause or prevent the outcome of interest, are not intermediate variables, and are not associated with the factor(s) under investigation.

They give rise to situations in which the effects of two processes are not separated, or the contribution of causal factors cannot be separated, or the measure of the effect of exposure or risk is distorted because of its association with other factors influencing the outcome of the study.