Intended for healthcare professionals

Feature Christmas 2016: Food for Thought

Is caviar a risk factor for being a millionaire?

BMJ 2016; 355 doi: (Published 09 December 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;355:i6536

Re: Is caviar a risk factor for being a millionaire?

Whilst I welcome Dr Huitfeldt's call for increased clarity in terminology around risk factors, with distinction between diagnostic factors that aid the clinician in confirming a diagnosis and prognostic factors that mark an individual at increased future risk of developing a disease. This second term nonetheless lends itself to ambiguity, as it can also be interpreted as indicating a particularly prognosis in terms of disease progression or life expectancy. Unfortunately I struggle to suggest a better term, with the rather cumbersome "prospective diagnostic factor" the best I can come up with.

Best Wishes,

Duncan Austin

Competing interests: No competing interests

03 January 2017
Duncan K Austin
Clinical Research Fellow
University College London