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Concepts of Disease 1

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Acquired disease
An acquired disease is one that began at some point during one's lifetime, as opposed to disease that was already present at birth, which is congenital disease. Acquired sounds like it could mean "caught via contagion", but it simply means acquired sometime after birth. It also sounds like it could imply secondary disease, but acquired disease can be primary disease.

Acute disease
An acute disease is one of a short-term nature (acute); the term sometimes also connotes a fulminant nature

Chronic condition or chronic disease
A chronic disease is one that persists over time, often characterized six months or more.

Congenital disorder or congenital disease
A congenital disorder is one that is present at birth. It is often a genetic disease or disorder and can be inherited. It can also be the result of a vertically transmitted infection from the mother, such as HIV/AIDS.

Genetic disease
A genetic disorder or disease is caused by one or more genetic mutations. It is often inherited, but some mutations are random and de novo.

Hereditary or inherited disease
A hereditary disease is a type of genetic disease caused by genetic mutations that are hereditary (and can run in families)

Iatrogenic disease
An iatrogenic disease or condition is one that caused by medical intervention, whether as a side effect of a treatment or as an inadvertent outcome.

Idiopathic disease
An idiopathic disease has an unknown cause or source. As medical science has advanced, many diseases with entirely unknown causes have had some aspects of their sources explained and therefore shed their idiopathic status. For example, when germs were discovered, it became known that they were a cause of infection, but particular germs and diseases had not been linked. In another example, it is known that autoimmunity is the cause of some forms of diabetes mellitus type 1, even though the particular molecular pathways by which it works are not yet understood. It is also common to know certain factors are associated with certain diseases. However, association and causality are two very different phenomena, as a third cause might be producing the disease, as well as an associated phenomenon.

Incurable disease
A disease that cannot be cured. Incurable diseases are not necessarily terminal diseases, and sometimes a disease's symptoms can be treated sufficiently for the disease to have little or no impact on quality of life.

Primary disease
A primary disease is a disease that is due to a root cause of illness, as opposed to secondary disease, which is a sequela, or complication that is caused by the primary disease. For example, a common cold is a primary disease, where rhinitis is a possible secondary disease, or sequela. A doctor must determine what primary disease, a cold or a bacterial infection, is causing a patient's secondary rhinitis when deciding whether or not to prescribe antibiotics.

Secondary disease
A secondary disease is a disease that is a sequela or complication of a prior, causal disease, which is referred to as the primary disease or simply the underlying cause (root cause). For example, a bacterial infection can be primary, wherein a healthy person is exposed to a bacteria and becomes infected, or it can be secondary to a primary cause, that predisposes the body to infection. For example, a primary viral infection that weakens the immune system could lead to a secondary bacterial infection. Similarly, a primary burn that creates an open wound could provide an entry point for bacteria, and lead to a secondary bacterial infection.

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