condition, impairment, functional limitation, or disability and thereby yield estimates of the probability or risk of these events. Most existing data, however, provide information only on prevalence, not incidence. Prevalence is the net result of changes in incidence and the duration of time a person has a condition. Duration is determined by rates of recovery and mortality. When one compares population groups, only incidence data provide a clear picture of how risks differ among populations. Prevalence data, on the other hand, reflect not only these risks but also differences in rates of recovery and mortality. Thus populations with equal risks of developing

TABLE 3-2 Risk Factors in Chronic Disease and Disability

Risk Factor

Some Related Conditions

Smoking

Lung cancer

 

Emphysema

 

Bronchitis

 

Other respiratory diseases

 

Coronary artery disease

 

Burns (especially home fires)

Alcohol abuse

Injuries sustained in motor vehicle accidents, especially head injuries and pedestrian injuries

 

Cirrhosis

 

Fetal alcohol syndrome

Lack of prenatal care

Mental retardation

 

Cerebral palsy

 

Congenital heart abnormalities (via rubella)

 

Various congenital anomalies (e.g., through failure to control blood sugar in pregnant diabetic women)

 

Other developmental disabilities

Socioeconomic status

Low birthweight

 

Injury

 

Coronary heart disease

 

Lung cancer

 

Osteoarthritis

 

Death

 

Diabetes mellitus

 

Cervical cancer



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