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selection bias

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Systematic error due to differences between those selected for study and those not selected. For instance, if a study relies on volunteers, these tend to be qualitatively different from those who do not volunteer for whatever reason, such as being able to attend a clinic because they are mobile. Hospital patients are a selected sample of persons with a condition, such as coronary heart disease, from which those at either end of the continuum from sudden death to silent infarct are excluded.

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