A persistent or recurring condition or group of symptoms. Chronic disorders are customarily contrasted with acute diseases which start suddenly and last a short time. The symptoms of acute disease often include breathlessness, fever, severe pain and malaise, with the patient’s condition changing from day to day or even hour to hour. Those suﬀering from chronic conditions – for example, severe arthritis, protracted lung disease, ASTHMA or SILICOSIS – should be distinguished from those with a ‘static disability’ following a stroke or injury. Chronic disorders steadily deteriorate, often despite treatment and the patient is increasingly unable to carry out his or her daily activities.
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