News tagged with risk factors

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

Menopause linked to changes in brain energy use

Researchers from Weill Cornell Medicine and the University of Arizona Health Sciences have found that women's brains use less energy during the menopause. The reduction in energy use by the brain was found to be similar to ...

Oct 13, 2017
popularity45 comments 0

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
popularity0 comments 0

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
popularity0 comments 0

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

Subscribe to rss feed