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seeks to address conditions that underlie the emergence of disease risk factors (typically social determinants of health). They can target selected populations or whole geographic areas. Addressing issues of poor general education in a neighborhood with the hopes that the children would adopt healthier lifestyles as a result would be an example of primordial prevention.
targets individual patients that are in early stages of disease. However, secondary prevention can be done in population settings. One example of secondary prevention in a population setting would be conducting screenings to identify patients with depression, cancer, or diabetes. By introducing secondary prevention strategies, we are trying to prevent the onset of more severe forms of disease, and, if applicable, prevent its spread.
is specifically targeted at those who are known to have the disease, and includes treatment and rehabilitation. At this stage, we are attempting to minimize long-term harm or disability from the disease.
seeks to reduce overuse of the medical system, where such overuse might cause harm to the patient. For example, if a patient continues to receive tests that evidence does not suggest will be directly beneficial, then such tests should be avoided. As you can imagine, quarternary prevention as regards specific tests can be a matter of some debate.
diseases that occur and resolve quickly
any disease or condition that lasts a long time (usually longer than six months). It usually can't be cured and therefore requires ongoing treatment and management. Examples include arthritis and asthma.
causes of chronic conditions
infectious diseases, genetics, aging, environmental insults, accidental injury, and personal health behaviors
Global Top 10 Death Causes
Ischemic heart disease
Lower Respiratory infections
US Top 10 Death Causes
Heart disease includes myocardial (muscular heart tissue) injury due to a variety of causes such as narrow blood vessels or preexisting heart defects. Drug abuse, genetics, smoking, stress, diabetes, diet, air pollution exposure, and physical inactivity are all risk factors for heart disease.
Diabetes Type II
In type two diabetes, either the body is not producing enough insulin or is resistant to insulin. Insulin is produced by beta cells in the pancreas. Its role is to bring glucose into the cells so that it can be used for energy. If you have insulin resistance, your body is not able to produce enough insulin to keep up with demand and blood sugar levels rise. Risk factors include smoking, genetics, air pollution, poor diet and lack of exercise. Diabetes is initially managed with diet and exercise. If this does not work then the doctor will move to therapies involving insulin.
Results from blood supply to the brain being reduced. Most strokes (87%) are ischemic, meaning they result from a blood clot. Symptoms include facial drooping, sudden loss of speech, and/or sudden loss of mobility on one side of the body. Risk factors for stroke include diet, high blood pressure, other heart diseases, air pollution, lack of exercise, and smoking. Stroke is not as hereditary as some of the other major chronic diseases, but some underlying factors such as high blood pressure can be.
Cancers are common complex diseases that have many underlying causes. The basic pathophysiology is that there is an inherited genetic predisposition (mutation) in a cell in a gene that regulates growth. Environmental factors can cause further acquired mutations, resulting in the cell being unable to control its growth. This is called the "2-hit hypothesis". While not true for all cancers at the individual level, it is a good framework for thinking about cancer in general. Risk factors include smoking, genetics, air/water pollution, poor diet and lack of exercise.
Most major chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma and emphysema are due to inflammation of tissue in the respiratory tract that restricts airflow. Asthma is the most common chronic disease in children, while chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD; of which emphysema is one type) is one of the leading causes of death in the world. Risk factors for COPD include smoking, cooking indoors with poorly ventilated stoves, or occupational exposure to airborne dust.
There are some common chronic diseases whose etiologies are still largely unknown, making prevention and control very difficult. Many of these are diseases of the nervous and/or immune system. Consider chronic migraines, for example. Most of us know someone who suffers from chronic migraine. It is debilitating in every way and their experience with the pain, nausea, light sensitivity and migraine triggers is real. But what is causing them? Why is it that some people are able to find relief from over-the-counter pain relievers, while others still struggle after years of treatment by specialists? Another example would include multiple sclerosis (MS), a disease of the nervous system in which immune cells destroy the myelin sheath surrounding neurons. We have some hypotheses about what causes MS, but the way it presents in individuals and which therapies work varies a great deal.
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