直面慢性病

蒙特利尔—许多人担心有一天会中风或突发致命心脏病。但是,很少有人对慢性病有类似的恐慌,“慢性病”一词含义暧昧又宽泛,主要用于组织卫生服务。但慢性病正在成为一个主要社会问题,需要集体应对。

历史上,慢性病是指症状维持很长时期的状况。但是,随着围绕具体疾病的医学组织的增加,“慢性病”一词所指范围已没有边界,可以包括心血管病、癌症、糖尿病等,但不包括结核病和疟疾等传染病和精神疾病。

在十九世纪,慢性病之所以被视为问题,部分是因为患者占据了宝贵的医院病床,而医院日益专注于治疗可治愈的急性疾病。但随着癌症、心血管疾病和糖尿病致死人数的增加,慢性病很快就成了更大的公共卫生问题。事实上,这些疾病报告死亡数量的最初增加最有可能是识别和确诊方面的进步。填写死亡报告不是精确科学,医生总是专注于他们所熟悉的死因。

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