Universal risk factors are factors that lead to multiple diseases. There are many causes of disease; some that we know about and many that we don’t know about; some we were born with- our DNA; and others we acquire or are exposed to. Some of this we have no control over like our age and gender and other diseases; some we control in conjunction with others, our occupation, and the environment and yet some others, we largely have only ourselves to blame. Generally speaking, age is by the greatest risk factor for disease, as we and insurance companies know only too well, though no one is really satisfied with their age, being either too young or too old or both. We all know what constitutes a healthy lifestyle but perhaps aren’t aware of the multiple risks associated with certain lifestyle choices. The risks are based on large, published studies, though they are approximate as such figures are not easy to generate from studies and there is considerable geographical variation. Many cancers share common pathways in the initial mutations that lead to their development and so there is common ground in the causative lifestyle factors. Thes factors also increase the risk of atherosclerosis (furring up of the arteries) which can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.