Describing the appropriate use and interpretation of odds and risk ratios

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1 Scopus citations


In sport medicine, epidemiology of sport-related injury provides the foundation for understanding what types of injuries and illnesses occur and who is at the highest risk. Thus, accurate and transparent reporting and interpretation of risk metrics is essential to sports epidemiology. Odds ratios (OR) and risk ratios (RR) are two statistics used to quantify the association between exposure and outcome and are frequently seen in sports medicine literature. While similarities exist, there are optimal ways to use and interpret OR and RR based on the study design and outcome incidence in the target population. In this short communication, we will present common study designs (e.g. prospective cohort, case-control, cross-sectional) along with recommendations for the use and interpretation of OR and RR. This will ultimately assist partitioners in choosing and interpreting these frequently confused measures of association and also help journal reviewers better understand the appropriate use of these measures when evaluating a manuscript.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalResearch in Sports Medicine
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Injury risk
  • epidemiology
  • relative risk
  • research design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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