Risk factor

In epidemiology, a risk factor or determinant is a variable associated with an increased risk 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 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.[2][3][4] For example, poverty is known to be a determinant of an individual's standard of health.


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