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That which produces an effect or condition; that by which a morbid change or disease is brought about.
[L. causa]


Etymology: L, causa
any process, substance, or organism that produces an effect or condition.


Law & medicine That which creates a condition or results in an effect. See Immediate cause of death, Necessary cause, Proximate cause, Sufficient cause, Underlying cause of death.


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.

Patient discussion about cause

Q. What Causes Dizziness? My husband is 55 years old. Lately he's been experiencing dizziness when he gets up from sitting for a while. What could be the cause?

A. We often feel dizzy when we are very tired, however real dizziness could indicate on a variety of problems: neurological, cardiovascular (for instance low blood pressure), nutritional (for example lack of glucose), dehydration and more. When someone complains about experiencing dizziness when getting up from sitting or lying down, the cause is usually a sudden drop in blood pressure (called orthostatic hypotension).

Q. What causes dizziness? I’m a 55 years old woman with 2 children, and in the last few weeks I have a feeling of dizziness every time I stand up from my bed. What cause this feeling? Does it mean I have some serious thing? I also have hypertension and diabetes that are usually stable.

A. If this feeling appears solely on standing up, it maybe related to drugs you take to treat your hypertension (It’s called “orthostatic hypertension”). You should report this to your doctor and maybe changing your treatment can make this feeling disappear.

Q. What causes asthma? My 5 year old son has trouble breathing sometimes after he runs around too much. My friend suggested he might have asthma. What causes this disease?

A. Another consideration is that food sensitivities can exacerbate asthma.

More discussions about cause
References in periodicals archive ?
that whether or not causes of action like Bivens are favored depends on
Therefore, federal law is legion that the federal natural resources statutes preempt all related private causes of action for noneconomic damages.
1) For the sake of simplicity, this article is couched in terms of a defendant seeking dismissal of some or all of a plaintiffs causes of action.
In striking four causes of action that the court said were alleged without regard to fault-based requirements of the legislative scheme, the court relied on the sound principle that the executive branch may not go beyond stated legislative policy.
This cause of action remains in the case; however, it will be resolved as a part of the determination of the legality of the rates when the first three causes of action are addressed.
This is a departure from the causes of action available under the common law, in which the plaintiff must prove that the defendant caused the pollution resulting in the damages.
Mealey said the publication is designed to assist counsel on all sides who are now, or will be, involved in class action suits dealing with whether Rezulin has caused liver and heart damage and resulted in causes of action for injury, death and medical monitoring.
The plaintiff will ask for compensatory damages to cover the actual injury, lost wages, medical expenses and a host of other causes of action.
The Complaint cited multiple causes of action including but not limited to: Federal RICO Violations, Fraud; Including Concealment, Negligent Misrepresentation, Breach of Contract, Conversion, Unjust Enrichment, and Unfair Business Practices.
May 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- As previously reported, on January 26, 2005, the Superior Court of California (the "Court") dismissed all causes of action in relation to the June 4, 2004 lawsuit brought by the State of California Insurance Commissioner (the "Commissioner") on behalf of Fremont Indemnity Company ("Fremont Indemnity") against Fremont General Corporation (the "Company") without leave to amend, except for the 7th cause of action for the alleged concealment by the Company of a potential reinsurance dispute, which was dismissed by the Court with leave to amend.
The $20 paperback includes the elements of 55 Florida common law causes of action, along with statute of limitation regulations and the most recent state and federal court cases that cite the elements of each action.
The pleadings were insufficient to state causes of action against a public entity,'' Carpenter said.