The disease risk assessment essay is an opportunity to assess your personal risk for a chosen communicable or non-communicable disease or condition. You will identify factors that increase your risk for the disease or condition and factors that are controllable or uncontrollable. You will then develop a prevention strategy to help reduce your risk for the disease or condition. You may choose from one of the diseases or conditions listed below or you may also propose a disease or condition not listed, but if you do, it must be approved by your professor.


Possible diseases or conditions you may choose:

  • Cancer (choose a specific type: e.g. breast cancer)
  • Heart Attack
  • Stroke
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes Mellitus (Type 2)
  • Arthritis or Osteoarthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • HPV
  • HIV
  • Depression or Anxiety
  • Dementia or Alzheimer’s


Please note:

As a University student you are expected to have your own ideas, to read information and explain information using your own words. I am interested in your understanding of the topic. I am not interested in your ability to copy and quote from someone else, regardless of whether you provide the source. This is plagiarism and it will be checked! Always use references to show where you have found information but re-word what you learned from the source when you write. When you make a statement, you need to reference where it came from, unless it is considered general knowledge. APA format is required for within text citations as well as the reference page (use the 2010 APA publication manual 6th edition).

An example of a within-text citation: (Schmidt, 2019) or According to Schmidt (2019).


Assignment Instructions

Based on what you have learned throughout the course, using the list of possible diseases or conditions provided, identify 1 disease or condition that you are at greatest risk for. Assess your lifestyle, genetic and environmental risk factors for disease. For example, reflect on your risk by dissecting your family health history if possible (e.g., interviewing family members about their health history), assess the degree to which you engage in health-enhancing or health-compromising lifestyle behaviours and consider any possible environmental risk factors (e.g., sun exposure, lack of access to parks or gyms, etc.). This is a formal written essay and must be written in full, complete, grammatically correct sentences. Please proof-read your work for spelling, grammar, content and style. As this is a personal reflection of your risk, you may write in first person (I and my) but please, do not write in second person (you or your).



Assignment Checklist

  • Word document,1” margins, Times New Roman,12 pt. font, double-spaced,
  • Title page (APA format)
  • Reference page (APA format)
  • 1400 -1700 words (not including title page and reference page).
  • Provide a minimum of three reputable references (use Canadian sources)
  • Proof read for spelling, grammar, content and style
  • Four headings are required: Introduction, Controllable Risk Factors, Uncontrollable Risk Factors and Prevention Strategy


Use the following as a guide to write each section of your essay. You will need to consult and reference reputable evidence to complete this assignment.



Identify the disease or condition you have chosen and provide a summary of important background information about the disease or condition including why the disease or condition is an important public health concern in Canada, prevalence of the disease or condition in Canada, mortality rates and other demographic content (e.g. age, gender or people most at risk). Explain how the disease or condition develops, spreads, and is transmitted, where applicable. How is the disease or condition detected, diagnosed and treated?


Controllable Risk Factors: Identify two major risk factors associated with the disease or condition that are controllable. Explain how each risk factor contributes to the onset of this disease or condition. Describe how the two modifiable risk factors apply to you personally.

*Note: None of us are impervious to disease or illness. Your selected risk factors must apply to you personally. Do not select risk factors that are not relevant to you.


Uncontrollable Risk Factors: Identify two uncontrollable risk factors associated with the disease or condition. Explain how each risk factor contributes to the onset of this disease or condition. Using your understanding of these factors and your health history, explain how these non-modifiable risk factors apply to you personally.


Prevention Strategy: Develop a five-point prevention strategy for reducing your risk of the disease or condition. Explain what you will do to specifically reduce your risk and how you will do it? Consider modifiable lifestyle and environmental factors. What resources or supports will you need to help you? Be very specific and detailed with your strategy. For this section, you may number your points 1 through 5, but please write in full, descriptive sentences (no bullet or point form).