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A deficiency of the odds ratio as a measure of effect size

Authors

  • Robert G. Newcombe

    Corresponding author
    1. Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff University, Heath Park, Cardiff CF14 4YS, U.K.
    • Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff University, Heath Park, Cardiff CF14 4YS, U.K.
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Abstract

The odds ratio is probably the most widely used measure of association for binary variables. It has many well-recognized advantages and disadvantages vis-à-vis the risk ratio. We demonstrate that for chained or conditional probabilities, odds ratios can behave paradoxically, by failing to show a reinforcement effect that is expressed very clearly when risk ratios are used. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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