Risk Factor - General Determinants

General Determinants

The probability of an outcome usually depends on an interplay between multiple associated variables. When performing epidemiological studies to evaluate one or more determinants for a specific outcome, the other determinants may act as confounding factors, and need to be controlled for, e.g. by stratification. The potentially confounding determinants varies with what outcome is studied, but the following general confounders are common to most epidemiological associations, and are the determinants most commonly controlled for in epidemiological studies:

  • Age
  • Sex or gender
  • Ethnicity


Other less commonly adjusted for possible confounders include:

  • Social status/income
  • Geographic location
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Gender identity
  • Occupation
  • Sexual orientation
  • Level of chronic stress
  • Diet
  • Level of physical exercise
  • Alcohol consumption and tobacco smoking
  • Other social determinants of health

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