precipitating cause

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Related to precipitating cause: necessary cause, primary cause

pre·cip·i·tat·ing cause

a factor that initiates the onset of manifestations of a disease process.

pre·cip·i·tat·ing cause

(prĕ-sipi-tāt-ing kawz)
Factor that initiates onset of manifestations of a disease process.


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 ?
However, if contributions decline with increase in per capita income (a phenomenon indicative of a economic precipitating cause of terrorism) a positive marginal utility from terrorism will eventually emerge so that the equilibrium value of K and therefore T suddenly jumps to a positive level.
The most common precipitating cause of ESRD is diabetes and hypertension.
Urgently required primary care preventive strategies include early diagnosis of diabetes, timely identification and treatment of precipitating causes, specifically sepsis, and education to improve compliance.
A retrospective review of these cases was undertaken with attention to injuries encountered, precipitating causes, mechanism of injuries, and outcome.
Thrombosis, or the development of a clot that obstructs a blood vessel or forms in the heart cavity, has been estimated to be the precipitating cause of 84 percent of all heart attacks and 61 percent of all strokes.
Once the precipitating cause has been treated, evacuating the hematoma and achieving hemostasis usually resolves the acute condition.
His efforts to influence politics reportedly angered the Kremlin and have been widely cited as one of the precipitating causes of the criminal investigation that has landed him and other Yukos shareholders in prison or in exile on what his supporters say are politically motivated charges.
Also the advanced reasons do not explain the suddenness of the rise, and may be best understood as enabling conditions rather than precipitating causes of the rise in youth violence.