Disability and Chronic Disease

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Joav Merrick, MD, MMedSci, DMSc, (Editor)
Medical Director, Health Services, Division for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services, Jerusalem, Israel
Division of Adolescent Medicine, KY Children’s Hospital, Department of Pediatrics, Lexington, Kentucky, USA
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Jerusalem, Israel
Division of Pediatrics, Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Centers, Mt Scopus Campus, Jerusalem, Israel
School of Public Health, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Shoshana Aspler (Editor)
Chief Community Nurse, Health Services, Office Medical Director, Division for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services, Jerusalem, Israel

Mohammed Morad, MD (Editor)
Yaski Community Medical Center, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Clalit Health Services, Beer-Sheva, Israel

Series: Disability Studies
BISAC: SOC029000

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Once upon a time, pediatrics was involved with infectious disease and acute disorders, but a new pattern of morbidity has emerged. Social difficulties, behavioral problems, developmental difficulties, disabilities and chronic disease have become main parts of the scope of pediatric practice.

Among adults, multiple chronic disease is increasingly prevalent, whereas the prevalence of impairment and disability remain stable, but substantial and therefore, present day health professionals must be aware of disability and chronic disease. Just a few decades ago, children born with significant congenital anomalies or genetic and metabolic diseases perished at an early age and very few survived into their teens and even less into adulthood. Congenital heart disease, major errors in metabolism, cancer, cystic fibrosis and many other major diseases were fatal. Because of that, many physicians in adult primary care did not have the opportunity to see patients with these problems and thus were unable to learn how to care for them.

With major advancements in medical knowledge, technology, imaging techniques, surgical skills and pharmaceutical products as well as prosthetic devices, many of these patients now live much longer lives and sometimes even close to the average life expectancy for the country, at least in the developed world. With that, a new medical care challenge has been created and we have to take a life span approach. (Imprint: Nova Biomedical )

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