News tagged with risk factors

Related topics: heart disease · patients · women · heart attack · cardiovascular disease

How serious is postmenopausal bleeding?

If you're postmenopausal, you shouldn't be bleeding. The very definition of menopause is having gone more than 12 months without a period. So if you're still bleeding, something is wrong. Determining the seriousness of the ...

Oct 11, 2017
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Traumatic events take toll on the heart

Today it seems about everything has been shown to lead to heart disease. Of course smoking is bad for you, as is high blood pressure. There's even mounting evidence that psychosocial factors can cause heart problems. A new ...

Oct 11, 2017
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Five things everyone should know about breast cancer

In 2017, the American Cancer Society estimates more than 250,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in the United States, with more than 40,000 deaths. But progress in treatment and early detection has led to improved ...

Oct 04, 2017
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Central neck dissection underused in some thyroid CA

(HealthDay)—Only about one-third of patients with medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) undergo initial central neck dissection, which is associated with a reduced rate of reoperation, according to a study published online ...

Sep 28, 2017
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Risk factor

A risk factor is a variable associated with an increased risk of disease or infection. Risk factors are correlational and not necessarily causal, because correlation does not imply causation. For example, being young cannot be said to cause measles, but young people are more at risk as they are less likely to have developed immunity during a previous epidemic.

Risk factors are evaluated by comparing the risk of those exposed to the potential risk factor to those not exposed. Let's say that at a wedding, 74 people ate the chicken and 22 of them were ill, while of the 35 people who had the fish or vegetarian meal only 2 were ill. Did the chicken make the people ill?

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 as those who did not, suggesting that eating chicken was the cause of the illness. Note, however, that this is not proof. Statistical methods would be used in a less clear cut case to decide what level of risk the risk factor would have to present to be able to say the risk factor is linked to the disease (for example in a study of the link between smoking and lung cancer). Even then, no amount of statistical analysis could prove that the risk factor causes the disease; this could only be proven using direct methods such as a medical explanation of the disease's roots.

The earliest use of risk factor analysis dates back to Avicenna's The Canon of Medicine (1020s), though the term "risk factor" was first coined by heart researcher Dr. Thomas R. Dawber in a landmark scientific paper in 1961, where he attributed heart disease to specific conditions (blood pressure, cholesterol, smoking).

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA

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