risk factor


Definition of risk factor 

: something that increases risk or susceptibility

Examples of risk factor in a Sentence

Age is one of the risk factors for this disease.

Recent Examples on the Web

There is no single cause of BPD, but experts believe there are several key risk factors involved. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "13 Facts Everyone Should Know About Borderline Personality Disorder," 5 Dec. 2018 The review concluded that improving on these risk factors could prevent more than a third of dementia cases across the globe. Linda Marsa, Discover Magazine, "A New Treatment for Alzheimer's? It Starts With Lifestyle," 16 Nov. 2018 And while most prescription opioids are classified as category C (drugs are classified for pregnant women by potential risk factors, with A being the least risky and D the most) Oxycodone is a category B drug, the same as Advil. Hayley Krischer, Marie Claire, "How Heroin Came for Middle-Class Moms," 20 Aug. 2018 That may be why fertility is also a common issue, as the Office on Women's Health says one of the top risk factors concerning an inability to conceive is age. Amy Capetta, Woman's Day, "When Are You Most Fertile?," 18 Sep. 2018 Another option is to look at the risk factors for developing Alzheimer's. Christian Holscher, CNN, "New approach to Alzheimer's fight: Diabetes drugs," 15 June 2018 Ramirez’s work on the National Hispanic Leadership Initiative on Cancer: En Acción was the first comprehensive look at Latino cancer risk factors. Elaine Ayala, San Antonio Express-News, "Latino cancer researchers set course for more study," 4 Mar. 2018 As Farmer points out, stress is a prime risk factor for a number of physical illnesses. Caitlin Flynn, The Seattle Times, "A Seattle program is making mental-health counseling more affordable," 16 Oct. 2018 Having diabetes is a risk factor for developing Fournier’s gangrene. Fox News, "FDA warns of serious genital infection linked to certain diabetes drugs," 30 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'risk factor.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of risk factor

1949, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for risk factor

Last Updated

16 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for risk factor

The first known use of risk factor was in 1949

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More Definitions for risk factor

risk factor


English Language Learners Definition of risk factor

: something that increases risk; especially : something that makes a person more likely to get a particular disease or condition

risk factor


Medical Definition of risk factor 

: something that increases risk or susceptibility poorly controlled hypertension is a risk factor for coronary heart disease

More from Merriam-Webster on risk factor

Britannica English: Translation of risk factor for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about risk factor

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