Research Evidence > Search Glossary

A B C D E F G H IJ K L M N O P Q R S T U V WX YZ
Search For in Clear Search
R
Relative risk (risk ratio)

The ratio of the risk of disease or death among those exposed to certain conditions compared with the risk for those who are not exposed to the same conditions (for example, the risk of people who smoke getting lung cancer compared with the risk for people who do not smoke).

If both groups face the same level of risk, the relative risk is 1. If the first group had a relative risk of 2, subjects in that group would be twice as likely to have the event happen. A relative risk of less than one means the outcome is less likely in the first group. Relative risk is sometimes referred to as risk ratio.

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence