Medical writing: explain ‘risk’

As a medical writer, you know what you mean by risk.

But how do you explain it to your reader?

I try to avoid using the word ‘risk’ as much as possible.

I find it confusing. Instead, I replace it with easier words like ‘your chances of getting’.

It’s also difficult to understand an increase in risk or decrease in risk.

Does risk go up and down or left to right? Who knows?

Speaking to your reader directly with words that they know already will help you get your message into their head. And remember it.

For example, saying your risk of getting cancer increases as you age sounds quite difficult in your head.

Instead, say: your chances of getting cancer goes up as you get older.

Now that’s something I will remember and tell my friends about.

Hemingway app readability grade 3. Grammarly 5 points friendly tone, 5 points confident and 3 points optimistic.

Published by Virginia Chachati

I am a UK GPhC registered Pharmacist from London. I love to write easy to understand health and wellness content. My goal is to help empower people to better their own health.

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