“Disease burden” is a term of major importance in medicine, public health, and behavioral medicine. It refers to the prevalence in a population or to the intensity or severity of a disease and to its possible impact on daily life. Thus, it could be at times referring to both illness severity and impact, resulting in confusion between concepts. Concerning disease severity, this reflects the amount of pathology in a given illness. For example, disease burden in cancer may be indexed by the level of a tumor marker – e.g., CA125 in ovarian cancer or CEA in colon cancer. Additionally, tumor stage could reflect disease burden as well. In coronary artery disease (CAD), this can be indexed by the number of arteries occluded over 50 % or the percentage of occlusion in a given artery (e.g., 40 %, 99 %). In infectious diseases, disease burden could reflect the amount of viral load in HIV patients. Concerning a disease’s impact, disease burden can be measured by its effects on longevity...
References and Further Readings
- Scheier, M. F., Matthews, K. A., Owens, J. F., Magovern, G. J., Sr., Lefebvre, R. C., Abbott, R. A., et al. (1989). Dispositional optimism and recovery from coronary artery bypass surgery: The beneficial effects on physical and psychological well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57, 1024–1040.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar