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davidtrump

Concepts of Disease 3

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Morbidity
Morbidity (from Latin morbidus, meaning 'sick, unhealthy') is a diseased state, disability, or poor health due to any cause. The term may be used to refer to the existence of any form of disease, or to the degree that the health condition affects the patient. Among severely ill patients, the level of morbidity is often measured by ICU scoring systems. Comorbidity is the simultaneous presence of two or more medical conditions, such as schizophrenia and substance abuse.
In epidemiology and actuarial science, the term "morbidity rate" can refer to either the incidence rate, or the prevalence of a disease or medical condition. This measure of sickness is contrasted with the mortality rate of a condition, which is the proportion of people dying during a given time interval. Morbidity rates are used in actuarial professions, such as health insurance, life insurance and long-term care insurance, to determine the correct premiums to charge to customers. Morbidity rates help insurers predict the likelihood that an insured will contract or develop any number of specified diseases.

Pathosis or pathology
Pathosis (plural pathoses) is synonymous with disease. The word pathology also has this sense, in which it is commonly used by physicians in the medical literature, although some editors prefer to reserve pathology to its other senses. Sometimes a slight connotative shade causes preference for pathology or pathosis implying "some [as yet poorly analyzed] pathophysiologic process" rather than disease implying "a specific disease entity as defined by diagnostic criteria being already met". This is hard to quantify denotatively, but it explains why cognitive synonymy is not invariable.

Syndrome
A syndrome is the association of several medical signs, symptoms, or other characteristics that often occur together. Some syndromes, such as Down syndrome, have only one cause. Others, such as Parkinsonian syndrome, have multiple possible causes. For example, acute coronary syndrome is not a single disease itself, but rather the manifestation of any of several diseases, such as myocardial infarction secondary to coronary artery disease. In yet other syndromes, the cause is unknown. A familiar syndrome name often remains in use even after an underlying cause has been found, or when there are a number of different possible primary causes. Examples of the first-mentioned type are that Turner syndrome and DiGeorge syndrome are still often called by the "syndrome" name despite that they can also be viewed as disease entities and not solely as sets of signs and symptoms.

Predisease
Predisease is a subclinical or prodromal vanguard of a disease. Prediabetes and prehypertension are common examples. The nosology or epistemology of predisease is contentious, though, because there is seldom a bright line differentiating a legitimate concern for subclinical/prodromal/premonitory status (on one hand) and conflict of interest–driven disease mongering or medicalization (on the other hand). Identifying legitimate predisease can result in useful preventive measures, such as motivating the person to get a healthy amount of physical exercise, but labeling a healthy person with an unfounded notion of predisease can result in overtreatment, such as taking drugs that only help people with severe disease or paying for drug prescription instances whose benefit–cost ratio is minuscule (placing it in the waste category of CMS' "waste, fraud, and abuse" classification). One review summarizes 3 requirements for legitimacy of instances of the concept: truly high risk for progression to disease, actionability for risk reduction, and benefit that outweighs harm in any interventions taken.

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