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Comment & Response
November 20, 2018

Odds Ratios vs Risk Ratios—Reply

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Health Management and Policy, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • 2Division of Health Policy and Management, University of Minnesota School of Public Health, Minneapolis
  • 3Center for Health Services Research in Primary Care, Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina
JAMA. 2018;320(19):2041-2042. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.14421

In Reply We agree with Dr Sonis that ORs have one distinct advantage over RRs when reporting the association between a binary outcome and a risk factor. If the original OR was computed for the occurrence of an outcome, then the OR for the nonoccurrence of the outcome is the inverse of the original OR. There is no such convenient transformation for RRs. He illustrates this point with a simple example and explains that this is important because for many outcomes it is arbitrary whether to report the outcome as the event occurrence or nonoccurrence.