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Risk factors

Synonym(s)

  • vulnerability factors

Definition(s)

An aspect of personal behavior or lifestyle, environmental exposure, or inborn or inherited characteristic, which, on the basis of epidemiologic evidence, is known to be associated with a health-related condition considered important to prevent.

Definition from: MeSH via Unified Medical Language SystemThis link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference. at the National Library of Medicine

Something which increases risk or susceptibility <a fatty diet is a risk factor for heart disease>.

Definition from: Merriam-Webster's Medical DictionaryThis link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference. by Merriam-Webster Inc.

Something that may increase the chance of developing a disease. Some examples of risk factors for cancer include age, a family history of certain cancers, use of tobacco products, certain eating habits, obesity, lack of exercise, exposure to radiation or other cancer-causing agents, and certain genetic changes.

Definition from:  National Cancer Institute dictionaryThis link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference.

Related discussion in the Handbook

See also Understanding Medical Terminology.

 
Published: January 27, 2015