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|The above concepts
of risk are very important in health care because they represents the strength of the
cause-effect relationship for a disease (or associated protective factor, e.g. exercise in
Type II diabetes).
Absolute Risk is not very useful because there are always variations in exposure to hazards within a population or group. Absolute Risk is an average that cannot show the differences in disease incidence due to differences in exposure.
Relative Risk is sometimes expressed as a percentage measure of proportionate increase or decrease (in the case of a protective agent) in disease rates in an exposed group. It is a more useful measure than Absolute Risk.
Attributable Risk represents the risk arising from exposure to a particular hazard (or protective factor), I.e. is the risk attributable to the given hazard.