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).