Risk factor

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A risk factor is a characteristic, condition or habit that increases a person’s chances to develop a particular disease or injury, for example, physical inactivity may, over time, contribute to weight gain, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. Risk factors include:

  • behavioural (poor diet, smoking, alcohol consumption),
  • biomedical (high weight, high blood pressure),
  • environmental (social, economic, cultural),
  • genetic (chromosomal abnormalities),
  • demographic (age, gender, ethnicity).
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