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life expectancy

an estimate of the average lifetime of people born in a specific year

infant mortality rate

the number of deaths of infants under one year of age per 1,000 live births in a given year

acute diseases

illnesses that strike suddenly and cause dramatic incapacitation and sometimes death

chronic diseases

illnesses that are long term or lifelong and that develop gradually or are present from birth


a restricted or total lack of ability to perform certain activities as a result of physical limitations or the interplay of these limitations, social responses, and the social environment


the practice of discharging patients from mental hospitals into the community

total institution

a place where people are isolated form the rest of society for a period of time and come under the complete control of the officials who run the institution

health maintenance organization (HMO)

provides, for a fixed monthly fee, total health care with an emphasis on prevention to avoid costly treatment later

managed care

a term that is used to refer to any system of cost containment that closely monitors and controls health care providers' decisions about medical procedures, diagnostic tests, and other services that should be provided to patients

medical-industrial complex

encompasses with local physicians and hospitals as well as global health-related industries such as the pharmaceutical and medical supply companies that deliver health care today

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