Relative risk

A summary measure which represents the ratio of the risk of a given event or outcome (for example, an adverse reaction to the drug being tested) in one group of subjects compared with another group. When the ‘risk’ of the event is the same in the two groups the relative risk is one. In a study comparing two treatments, a relative risk of two would indicate that patients receiving one of the treatments had twice the risk of an undesirable outcome than those receiving the other treatment. Relative risk is sometimes used as a synonym for risk ratio.