necessary cause

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nec·es·sar·y cause

an etiologic factor without which a result in question will not occur; the occurrence of the result is proof that the factor is operating.


in diseases, an agent, event, condition or characteristic which plays an essential role in producing an occurrence of the disease. Because there is nowadays much less certainty about what actually establishes a disease state it is becoming more common to use terms such as disease determinants, causal association, causal relationship. koch's postulates are no longer the sole criterion used in establishing causality.

constitutional cause
an inherent characteristic of the patient. Usually a systemic defect, e.g. protoporphyria.
direct cause
there must be no known variable intervening between the suspect factor and the disease.
endogenous cause
the cause comes from within the patient. See also constitutional cause (above).
exogenous cause
the cause comes from outside the patient, e.g. a virus infection.
indirect cause
all causes other than the direct cause (see above).
host cause
see endogenous cause (above).
necessary cause
a factor which must be present to produce disease; the disease does not occur unless the factor was or is present.
precipitating cause
the trigger mechanism that initiates the commencement of the disease state.
predisposing cause
a mechanism that makes a patient more susceptible to the precipitating cause.
primary cause
the principal factor in causing the disease.
secondary cause
a factor that assists the primary cause. A cause of secondary importance.
specific cause
the single cause in a single cause-single disease relationship.
sufficient cause
a minimal set of conditions and events which inevitably produce disease.
References in periodicals archive ?
HPV infection is recognized as the necessary cause of precancerous cervical lesions and cervical cancers and is the most common sexually transmitted disease affecting about 400 million women worldwide.
Human Papilloma Virus infection has been recognized as the necessary cause of precancerous cervical lesions and cervical cancers.
The EarthImage 2000 contest enabled the use of cutting-edge technology for a deserved and necessary cause.
The Cervical Cancer and HPV Education Committee will increase awareness among women of the human papillomavirus (HPV) as the necessary cause of cervical cancer and the benefits of vaccination in women.
These Americans gave their lives in a noble and a necessary cause.
Law enforcement officials and organizations in support of missing children are very excited about Forensica's technology and optimistic about the use of 3D visualization in helping a necessary cause.
The IARC paper notes that the recognition that HPV infections are a necessary cause of cervical cancer has "profound implications for cancer prevention.

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