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so we talk about risk a lot in the birthing community. the risks of cesareans, the risks of breech deliveries etc.

i just started reading "the savvy woman patient" published by the society for women's health research and found out i was ignorant as to the two different kinds of risk: relative and absolute.

"relative risk is the amount of increase or decrease in whatever the study was designedto evaluate-breast cancer,heart disease,etc-over an entire population. So, for instance if a news report says that a certain medication doubles the risk of heart attack, it simply means that twice as many people taking the drug will have a heart attack as those not taking the drug.

absolute risk however, is the average persons risk of experiencing that side effect. so, for instance if you personally have a 5% risk of having a heart attack in your lifetime, then taking the drug increases your individual risk by another 5% resulting in a relative risk of 10%. in other words 10% is 5% doubled"

so if you're already at low risk of this or that and you double that low risk its still low risk.

just something to think about.

here are a few links on the topic as well

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