AQA GCSE Biology

Revision Notes

2.4.3 Lifestyle & Non-Communicable Diseases

Risk Factors

  • Risk factors are linked to an increased rate of a disease; but exposure to a risk factor doesn’t guarantee that an individual will suffer a disease (a person who smokes regularly isn’t guaranteed to develop lung cancer but their risk compared to someone who doesn’t smoke is much, much higher)
  • Certain risk factors correlate with certain diseases (are related to them); but correlations are not always causations
  • Risk factors can be:
    • Aspects of a person’s lifestyle; such as the food they eat or whether or not they drink alcohol
    • Substances in the person’s body or environment; such as air pollution in a crowded city or asbestos in old buildings

Causal Mechanisms & Risk Factors

  • A causal mechanism has been proven for some risk factors, but not in others

Risk factors & causal mechanisms table

Lifestyle & Non-Communicable Diseases (1), downloadable IGCSE & GCSE Biology revision notes

  • Many diseases are caused by the interaction of a number of factors; the chance of developing cardiovascular disease is higher in individuals who have a poor diet high in cholesterol (fat), don’t exercise regularly and smoke – because all of these behaviours increase the likelihood of damage occurring to the arteries

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