risk factor


: something that increases risk or susceptibility

Example Sentences

Age is one of the risk factors for this disease.
Recent Examples on the Web Even as air pollution has been known to kill more Indians than any other risk factor, voters ranked air quality as their 17th most urgent concern in a countrywide survey before the 2019 election, well behind jobs, health care and infrastructure. Keith Bradsher, New York Times, 22 Nov. 2022 Case said her study did not find that ships’ age was a risk factor. Yereth Rosen, Anchorage Daily News, 8 Apr. 2023 More than half of those patients have a food, housing or isolation risk factor, CVS said. Aaron Gregg, Washington Post, 8 Feb. 2023 Having dense breast tissue makes cancer harder to detect by a mammogram and is also a risk factor for developing breast cancer. Valerie Debenedette, Verywell Health, 28 Mar. 2023 But many ignore the major risk factor for all of these diseases: aging itself. Aditi Gurkar, Fortune Well, 15 Mar. 2023 Premature birth is a risk factor for death in the first 28 days to one year of an infant's life. Aria Bendix, NBC News, 11 Feb. 2023 Given that meditation reduces stress, and chronic stress is a risk factor for other health problems, our physical bodies benefit from meditation. Byalexa Mikhail, Fortune, 11 Feb. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'risk factor.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1949, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of risk factor was in 1949

Dictionary Entries Near risk factor

Cite this Entry

“Risk factor.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/risk%20factor. Accessed 10 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition

risk factor

: something that increases the possibility that something bad will happen
cigarette smoking is a risk factor for lung cancer

Medical Definition

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

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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