# Baseline Risk

You’ve described the baseline or control condition as ‘insert condition in baseline group’

Now, you need to find out the absolute risk of the outcome in that control or baseline group – the

baseline risk.

This is the trickiest step.

→

What am I looking for?Usually a percentage of people who experienced some outcome.

Here are some examples:

- If the study is investigating HRT and breast cancer, you need to find the risk of developing breast cancer amongst the group of women who

weren’t

taking HRT.- If the study is investigating saturated fat and heart disease, you need to find the risk of developing heart disease amongst the group eating the

least

amount of fat.- If the study is investigating a new antidepressant drug and depression, you need to find the rate of depression amongst the group taking the

placebo

or the old

antidepressant. →

Where can I find it?- Check the paper. You are looking for a percentage or a proportion e.g. “10% of those not taking HRT developed breast cancer”. Sometimes you can calculate the percentage yourself, if the raw numbers are reported.

- If it’s not in the paper, request it from the corresponding author. Click

here

for guidance.- Find a relevant figure from a trustworthy authority. Click

here

for guidance.8 / 9