Risk Factors

Chronic disease risk factors can be non-modifiable (i.e. age, race/ethnicity, biological gender, family history) or something a person can modify (i.e. smoking tobacco, using drugs and/or alcohol, poor diet, lack of exercise). Many chronic diseases share the same risk factors, which this table strives to incorporate.

CancerCVDEndocrineGIRespiratoryRenal
*AgeXX
Alcohol UseXX
Cholesterol (increased)XX
DiabetesXX
Diet (poor)XXXX
*Family HistoryXXXX
*GenderX
High Blood PressureXX
ObesityXX
Physical Activity (decreased)XXXX
*Race / EthnicityXX
Tobacco UseXXX
* Non-modifiable Risk Factors

Preventative Factors

Just as chronic diseases share risk factors, so to do they share factors that can prevent or reduce the risk of disease.

CancerCVDEndocrineGIRespiratoryRenal
Cholesterol ControlX
Control High Blood PressureXX
Exercise RegularlyXXXXXX
Healthy DietXXXXXX
Limit AlcoholXX
Maintain a Healthy WeightXXX
Manage Other Chronic DiseasesXX
Manage StressXXX
Sleep 7-9 Hours per NightX
Stop Tobacco UseXXXXX
Stop Risky BehaviorsX
Wear SunscreenX

In addition, the CDC recommends that all adults keep their vaccinations up to date. Childhood immunizations may wear off after time and need a “booster shot,” and you are at risk for other diseases as an adult.

All adults need:

  • Influenza vaccine (every year)
  • Tdap vaccine (if they did not receive it as an adolescent to protect against pertussis (whooping cough), and then a Td (tetanus, diphtheria) booster shot every 10 years.

If you have a chronic disease, you talk with your doctor to determine what other vaccines may be appropriate for you.