Let’s think about this in relation to heart disease
Risk factors are things that make it more likely you will get a disease. Some of those are fixed and can’t be changed and some are modifiable and can be changed.
Examples of fixed risk factors for heart disease, one of the most common diseases in the Western world, are things like age, gender and race.
Examples of modifiable risk factors are things like blood pressure, weight and physical activity.
Protective factors are things that help to prevent you getting a disease so again, for heart disease these are things like eating a healthy diet, not smoking, drinking within recommended limits and getting regular exercise.