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date: 15 May 2021


A Dictionary of Epidemiology

Miquel Porta

Determinant(S) (Syn: risk factor) 

A collective or individual Risk factor (or set of factors) that is causally related to a health condition, outcome, or other defined characteristic. The concept is probabilistic, and thus the term does not imply a deterministic philosophy of health; e.g., it does not embody genetic, environmental, or social determinisms. In human health —and, specifically, in Diseases of complex etiology— sets of determinants often act jointly in relatively complex and long-term processes. They commonly operate both at aggregate (e.g., social, regional, global) and distal levels, as well as at the individual, personal level; i.e., across macro- and micro-levels, Systemically.14, 17, 28, 158, 213, 215, 279, 302303, 304, 306 See also causality; causes in public health sciences.