Harrisons Rheumatology 3rd Edition PDF
15.64 MB PDF
Welcome to the third edition of Harrison’s Rheumatology. This sectional volume, which is comprised of the rheumatology and immunology chapters contained in the 18th edition of Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine, was originally introduced with the goal of providing knowledge to enhance the care of patients with rheumatic diseases and in recognition of the importance of rheumatology to the practice of internal medicine. With the changes and growth that have occurred both in the field of rheumatology and among populations across the world, particularly the increased number of aging people, the significance of these original foundations to patient care have become even greater over time.
While rheumatic diseases can affect people of all ages, many forms of arthritis and connective tissue disorders increase in frequency with age. This includes diverse disease processes such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjögren’s syndrome, crystalline arthropathies, polymyalgia rheumatica, and giant cell arteritis. The global population is continuing to grow with current analyses demonstrating over 300 million people currently living in the United States with 7 billion people world-wide. Lifeexpectancy also continues to rise and by 2030, it is estimated that almost 20% of the United States population will be 65 years and older. While the advancements in medicine will allow many older individuals to lead longer healthier lives, this means that there will also be an increasing proportion of the world’s population who will develop and require care for rheumatic diseases.
In facing this challenge, we are aided by an accelerating understanding of the pathophysiology and treatment of rheumatic diseases. The strong relationship that exists between rheumatology and immunology has long stimulated biomedical investigation into the mechanisms involved in disease pathogenesis. In a short span of time, hypotheses about the role of the immune system in rheumatic diseases that were initially based on histologic evidence of tissue inflammation were able to be studied with ever increasing detail and precision. The findings from this research, together with the ability to impact specific immune effector functions have changed the management of many rheumatic diseases. With each edition of Harrison’s Rheumatology we have seen the introduction of novel insights that have reduced pain, lessened joint and organ damage, and improved overall patient outcome, which provides us with great anticipation for what new advances the future of rheumatology will bring.
With the expansion of both patient numbers and scientific information, there also comes an increased need for practitioners who are knowledgeable about rheumatology. While the primary purpose of Harrison’s Rheumatology is to provide the most updated information about the rheumatic diseases, we also hope that it will inspire clinical and scientific interest in this dynamic field. In so many ways, rheumatology embodies the essence of internal medicine through its diagnostic challenges, multisystem diseases, and complex therapeutics. With the potential that now exists in rheumatology to improve quality of life and daily functioning as well as to turn life-threatening diseases into chronic illnesses, practitioners can make profound short- and long-term differences in the lives of their patients. The example that rheumatology brings in being able to combine the opportunity for continuous intellectual growth with the privilege of providing skilled, compassionate, and meaningful care to patients reminds us regularly of the reasons why we chose to pursue a life in medicine.
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