Although we can reduce risk factors for disease (such as taking medicines for lowering blood pressure), we now know that social factors such as low income, stress and discrimination are also important in checking our risk of health conditions like diabetes. Recently, hundreds of researchers got together to see if they could use statistics to predict (called machine learning) life events. For example, they used data collected from families over many years to try and predict how well a child would do in school or whether a family might lose their home. They found that computers are not very accurate at predicting the future when it comes to social factors. More work needs to be done to look at the importance of these factors causing poor health.


Photo by John Schnobrich at Unsplash.