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Risk factor

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**Understanding Risk Factors:**
– Definition of Risk Factor:
– Variables associated with increased disease/injury likelihood.
– Categorized as modifiable or non-modifiable.
– Examples: age, genetics, lifestyle, environment.
– Crucial for preventive healthcare and interventions.
– Aid in developing targeted risk reduction strategies.

**Types and Importance of Risk Factors:**
– Types of Risk Factors:
– Behavioral, biological, environmental, socioeconomic.
– Examples in each category.
– Importance of Identifying Risk Factors:
– Early detection, intervention.
– Addressing modifiable factors reduces disease burden.
– Aids in risk stratification, personalized medicine.
– Targets for public health initiatives and awareness campaigns.

**Role of Risk Factors in Disease Prevention:**
– Prevention Strategies:
– Primary, secondary, tertiary prevention.
– Modification of risk factors in preventive healthcare.
– Disease Prevention Roles:
– Primary: Addressing risk factors before disease onset.
– Secondary: Early detection and management.
– Tertiary: Minimizing complications in established conditions.

**Research and Analysis of Risk Factors:**
– Epidemiological Studies:
– Relationship between risk factors and health outcomes.
– Statistical Methods:
– Quantifying impact on disease risk.
– Meta-analyses, systematic reviews for evidence synthesis.
– Longitudinal Studies:
– Tracking individuals to assess risk factor influence.
– Multidisciplinary Approaches:
– Understanding complex risk factor interplay in disease etiology.

**Risk Factors Evaluation and Examples:**
– Correlation vs. Causation:
– Risk factors are correlational, not necessarily causal.
– Statistical methods assess association strength.
– Causal evidence requires analysis and biological sciences.
– Terms and Examples:
– Description terms (relative risk, hazard ratio).
– Common in breast cancer risk factors.
– Example: Food poisoning scenario for risk factor illustration.
– General Determinants:
– Outcome probability influenced by multiple variables.
– Control of confounding factors in studies.
– Age as a common confounder in associations.
– Risk markers may not directly alter outcome risk.
– Historical Context:
– Term coined by William B. Kannel in 1961.

Risk factor (Wikipedia)

In epidemiology, a risk factor or determinant is a variable associated with an increased risk of disease or infection.

Due to a lack of harmonization across disciplines, determinant, in its more widely accepted scientific meaning, is often used as a synonym. The main difference lies in the realm of practice: medicine (clinical practice) versus public health. As an example from clinical practice, low ingestion of dietary sources of vitamin C is a known risk factor for developing scurvy. Specific to public health policy, a determinant is a health risk that is general, abstract, related to inequalities, and difficult for an individual to control. For example, poverty is known to be a determinant of an individual's standard of health.

Risk factors may be used to identify high-risk people.

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