Measuring Risk in Epidemiology

Epidemiology & Surveillance
Online Course
1 hour
University of Washington
Northwest PERLC
Public Health Surveillance and Epidemiologic Investigation

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A study reports that smokers face a relative risk of dying from lung cancer 24 times higher than non-smokers, and a relative risk of only 1.4 times of dying of heart disease. How important are these differences? If you have no idea, then the module Measuring Risk in Epidemiology is for you. The module introduces key measures of risk, shows how they're calculated, and discusses how to interpret them when you encounter them in reports and news stories.

Learning Objectives: 
  • Define risk as it is used in public health practice
  • Identify measures of association as they are used in epidemiology
  • Interpret relative risk and odds ratios, and be familiar with their calculation using 2x2 tables
  • Interpret the following measures of risk differences: attributable risk, population attributable risk, and population attributable risk percent
PHEP Capabilities: 
Public Health Surveillance and Epidemiological Investigation