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DDBA 8303 Northcentral University Disease Causation Discussion

DDBA 8303 Northcentral University Disease Causation Discussion

Question Description

Answer question and two responses with references:


Some of the risk factors for heart disease are smoking, hypertension, obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, inactivity, stress, and type A personality. Are these risk factors necessary causes, sufficient causes, or component causes?

Response 1:

According to the CDC, Individual factors are called component causes. The complete pie, which might be considered a causal pathway, is called a sufficient cause. A disease may have more than one sufficient cause, with each sufficient cause being composed of several component causes that may or may not overlap. The sufficient-component cause model describes how a sufficient cause is not a single factor but is made up of a set of factors and circumstances that when presented can produce a disease.

Some of the risk factors for heart disease are smoking, hypertension, obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, inactivity, stress, and type A personality. These are all individual component causes. These components or factors can cause heart disease. These all seem to able to cause heart disease on their own, but since the references state that a sufficient cause is not a single factor, they all have to be component causes.


Center for Disease Control.Component causes and causal pies. Retrieved 5/15/2020

The Sufficient-Component Cause Model Retrieved 5/15/2020

Response 2:

When I think about the risk factors associated with heart disease, the aforementioned factors can all play into causation. For example, your computer or laptop used for class. The computer has some of way of letting someone know that it is on either through a light indicator or the screen letting one know that the computer is ready for use. Wires are utilized into many components of either device, in this case we will just talk about the motherboard. For the device to operate, one will need a power source. If one would take any of these factors away, then the device would not function at all. To better understand this type of methodology, one should look no further than Rothman’s pie model. In the model shown here, represents this way of conceptualizing causality. A sufficient cause is a constellation of component causes, the causal pie, that leads to an outcome. A component cause can be a component of more than one sufficient cause. If and only if all the component causes that make up a causal pie of some sufficient cause are present does the outcome occur. As a result, the effect of a component cause depends on the presence versus absence of the other component causes that make up some causal pie. These are called complementary component causes, which jointly make up the complementary set of a component cause. In the absence of any one of the complementary component causes, a component cause in itself has no effect.

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Rothman, K. J. (2012). Epidemiology: an introduction. Oxford university press.

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