In both retrospective and prospective cohort studies, the goal is to break down the cohort into a group of exposed and a group of non-exposed individuals and follow their outcomes over time. In a large enough cohort study, many exposures and outcomes may be evaluated at once.
Some famous examples of cohort studies include:
- The Nurses' Health Study - Initially focused on cancer prevention, the nurses health study has done research on many aspects of women's health.
- The Framingham Heart Study - A study of cardiovascular disease and its risk factors that has been going on for more than 60 years.
- The Physicians' Health Study - Started as a way to look at whether aspirin and beta carotene could prevent cardiovascular disease and cancer.