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date: 27 February 2021

Causation of Disease, Factors In 

A Dictionary of Epidemiology

Miquel Porta

While they are not mutually exclusive, the following factors can be differentiated:

1. Predisposing factors are those that prepare, sensitize, condition, or otherwise create a situation such as a level of immunity or state of susceptibility so that the host tends to react in a specific fashion to a disease agent, personal interaction, environmental stimulus, or specific incentive. Examples include age, sex, marital status, family size, educational level, previous illness experience, presence of concurrent illness, dependency, working environment, and attitudes toward the use of health services. These factors may be “necessary” but are rarely “sufficient” to cause the phenomenon under study....


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