Encyclopedia of Public Health

2008 Edition
| Editors: Wilhelm Kirch

Relative Risk

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-5614-7_2978


Cumulative incidence ratio; Relative ratio (RR)


The relative risk quantifies how many times more or less likely the disease is in “exposed” people compared to “unexposed” people. Traditionally, exposure has been considered in terms of environmental agents, but in genetic studies exposure can refer to the underlying genotype or allele. A null value of 1.0 indicates that the disease is equally likely in exposed and unexposed people; a value greater than 1.0 indicates that the disease is more likely in exposed people; and a value less than 1.0 suggests that the disease is more likely in unexposed people. Usually, a relative risk is given in percent.


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© Springer-Verlag 2008