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Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

Relative vs. Absolute Benefit

Published studies will often quote risk reductions and almost without exception these are relative risk reductions rather than actual risk reductions. This is because relative risk reductions are usually numerically greater than the actual risk reduction. Larger numbers will look and sound more impressive.

For example, in the FIT 1 study hip fracture rates were decreased from a baseline risk of 2.2% to 1.1% in the treatment arm. This is an absolute risk reduction of 1.1% or a relative risk reduction of 50% - which sounds better to you?

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