Define and Describe the Different Types of Risk Factors

Define and Describe the Different Types of Risk Factors

Variable associated with an increased risk of disease or infection

In epidemiology, a
risk factor
is a variable associated with an increased take a chance of disease or infection.[1]

: 38

Due to a lack of harmonization across disciplines,
determinant, in its more widely accepted scientific meaning, is often used as a synonym. The main deviation lies in the realm of practice: medicine (clinical do) versus public health. As an instance from clinical exercise, depression ingestion of dietary sources of vitamin C is a known gamble gene for developing scurvy. Specific to public health policy, a determinant is a wellness risk that is general, abstract, related to inequalities, and difficult for an private to control.[2]
For instance, poverty is known to be a determinant of an individual’s standard of health.

Correlation vs causation


Risk factors or determinants are correlational and non necessarily causal, considering correlation does not testify causation. For example, existence young cannot be said to cause measles, just young people have a higher rate of measles considering they are less likely to have adult amnesty during a previous epidemic. Statistical methods are frequently used to assess the strength of an association and to provide causal show, for example in the study of the link between smoking and lung cancer. Statistical assay forth with the biological sciences tin plant that risk factors are causal. Some prefer the term take a chance gene to hateful causal determinants of increased rates of affliction, and for unproven links to exist called possible risks, associations, etc.[
citation needed

When done thoughtfully and based on research, identification of risk factors can be a strategy for medical screening.[5]

Terms of description


Mainly taken from risk factors for chest cancer, adventure factors tin be described in terms of, for example:

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  • Relative adventure, such as “A adult female is more than 100 times more probable to develop breast cancer in her 60s than in her 20s.”[half-dozen]
  • Fraction of incidences occurring in the grouping having the property of or being exposed to the hazard factor, such as “99% of breast cancer cases are diagnosed in women.”[7]
  • Increase in incidence in the exposed group, such equally “each daily alcoholic drinkable increases the incidence of breast cancer past xi cases per k women.”[8]
  • Gamble ratio, such every bit “an increase in both total and invasive breast cancers in women randomized to receive estrogen and progestin for an average of 5 years, with a hazard ratio of one.24 compared to controls.”[9]



At a wedding, 74 people ate the chicken and 22 of them were sick, while of the 35 people who had the fish or vegetarian repast but 2 were ill. Did the chicken brand the people sick?


number of persons experiencing consequence (food poisoning)

number of persons exposed to take chances cistron (food)

{\displaystyle Chance={\frac {\mbox{number of persons experiencing event (food poisoning)}}{\mbox{number of persons exposed to risk gene (food)}}}}


So the chicken eaters’ risk = 22/74 = 0.297
And non-chicken eaters’ risk = 2/35 = 0.057.

Those who ate the chicken had a risk over five times as high equally those who did not, that is, a relative risk of more than than five. This suggests that eating chicken was the crusade of the disease, simply this is

This instance of a risk factor is described in terms of the relative risk it confers, which is evaluated by comparing the risk of those exposed to the potential risk cistron to those not exposed.

General determinants


The probability of an outcome normally depends on an coaction between multiple associated variables. When performing epidemiological studies to evaluate one or more than determinants for a specific upshot, the other determinants may act equally confounding factors, and need to be controlled for, eastward.g. past stratification. The potentially misreckoning determinants varies with what issue is studied, but the following general confounders are common to nearly epidemiological associations, and are the determinants most unremarkably controlled for in epidemiological studies:[
citation needed

  • Historic period (0 to one.5 years for infants, ane.5 to 6 years for young children, etc.)
  • Sex or gender (Male or female)[xi]

    : 20
  • Ethnicity (Based on race)[xi]

    : 21

Other less unremarkably adjusted for possible confounders include:

  • Social condition/income

    : 39
  • Geographic location
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Gender identity
  • Occupation
  • Overwork[12]
  • Sexual orientation
  • Level of chronic stress
  • Diet
  • Level of physical exercise
  • Alcohol consumption and tobacco smoking
  • Other social determinants of wellness

Gamble marker


risk marker
is a variable that is quantitatively associated with a disease or other consequence, only direct alteration of the chance marker does not necessarily alter the gamble of the effect. For instance, driving-while-intoxicated (DWI) history is a risk marker for pilots as epidemiologic studies indicate that pilots with a DWI history are significantly more likely than their counterparts without a DWI history to be involved in aviation crashes.[13]



The term “risk gene” was coined past one-time Framingham Heart Study Director, Dr. William B. Kannel in a 1961 article in
Register of Internal Medicine.[14]

See too


  • Protective gene
  • Loftier-risk people
  • Health risk cess



  1. ^



    Parritz, Robin Hornik (2017-05-24).
    Disorders of babyhood : development and psychopathology. Troy, Michael F. (Michael Francis) (Third ed.). Boston, MA. ISBN9781337098113. OCLC 960031712.

  2. ^

    Improving Health in the Community: A Office for Functioning Monitoring: 2. Understanding Health and Its Determinants: A Model of the Determinants of Health. National Academy of Sciences: National Academies Printing: Institute of Medicine (Usa) Committee on Using Functioning Monitoring to Improve Community Health. 1997. ISBN978-0309055345.
    Unlike a biomedical model that views health as the absence of disease, this dynamic framework includes functional capacity and well-being every bit health outcomes of interest. It also presents the behavioral and biologic responses of individuals as factors that influence health but are themselves influenced by social, physical, and genetic factors that are beyond the command of the individual.

  3. ^

    “Health Bear upon Assessment (HIA): Glossary of terms used”. Globe Health Organization. Retrieved
    July twenty,

  4. ^

    “Wellness Bear on Cess (HIA): The determinants of health”. World Health Organization. Archived from the original on May 30, 2004. Retrieved
    July twenty,

  5. ^

    Wald, Northward. J.; Hackshaw, A. Grand.; Frost, C. D. (1999). “When can a adventure factor be used as a worthwhile screening test?”.
    (7224): 1562–1565. doi:10.1136/bmj.319.7224.1562. ISSN 0959-8138. PMC1117271. PMID 10591726.

  6. ^

    Margolese RG, Fisher B, Hortobagyi GN, Bloomer WD (2000). “Neoplasms of the Breast”. In Bast RC, Kufe DW, Pollock RE, et al. (eds.).
    Cancer Medicine
    (5th ed.). Hamilton, Ontario: B. C. Decker. §Take chances Factors. ISBNane-55009-113-1
    . Retrieved
    27 January

  7. ^

    Giordano SH, Cohen DS, Buzdar AU, Perkins G, Hortobagyi GN (July 2004). “Breast carcinoma in men: a population-based written report”.
    (1): 51–vii. doi:10.1002/cncr.20312. PMID 15221988. S2CID 972345.

  8. ^

    Allen NE, Beral V, Casabonne D, et al. (March 2009). “Moderate alcohol intake and cancer incidence in women”.
    Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
    (five): 296–305. doi:ten.1093/jnci/djn514. PMID 19244173.

  9. ^

    Heiss, Grand.; Wallace, R.; Anderson, Yard. L.; Aragaki, A.; Beresford, S. A. A.; Brzyski, R.; Chlebowski, R. T.; Gass, K.; Lacroix, A. (2008). “Health Risks and Benefits three Years After Stopping Randomized Handling with Estrogen and Progestin”
    JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association.
    (9): 1036–45. doi:x.1001/jama.299.9.1036. PMID 18319414.

  10. ^

    Tenny, Steven; Hoffman, Mary R. (2020), “Relative Risk”,
    StatPearls, StatPearls Publishing, PMID 28613574, retrieved

  11. ^



    Brew, Eric J. (2019).
    Abnormal kid psychology. Wolfe, David A. (David Allen), 1951- (Seventh ed.). Boston, MA. ISBN9781337624268. OCLC 1022139949.

  12. ^

  13. ^

    Li G., Baker S. P., Qiang Y., Grabowski J. G., McCarthy M. L. Driving-while-intoxicated history as a risk marking for general aviation pilots. Accid Anal Prev. 2005;37(1):179-84./McFadden K. L. Driving while intoxicated (DWI) convictions and job-related flying functioning – a study of commercial air safe. J Oper Res Soc. 1998;49:28–32

  14. ^

    Husten, Larry (23 August 2011). “William Kannel, Erstwhile Director of the Framingham Heart Written report, Dead at 87”.

Farther reading


  • Case, S.P. and Haines, G.R. (2009) Understanding Youth Offending: Risk Factor Research, Policy and Practice. Cullompton: Willan. https://spider

Define and Describe the Different Types of Risk Factors


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