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Acute vs chronic

Acute describes something that has a sudden and intense onset. The word acute is used to describe a disease, a problem or a situation. Acute also means having keen insight, perceptive. Acute is an adjective, related words are acutely and acuteness. Acute is derived from the Latin word acutus, which means pointed or sharp.

Chronic describes something that continues for a long time, is difficult to eradicate, is habitual or reoccurring. Chronic is used to describe a disease, a problem or a situation. Chronic is an adjective, related words are chronically, chronicity. Chronic is derived from the Greek word khronikos which means pertaining to time. Remember, when describing disease, an acute disease occurs suddenly with intensity, a chronic disease is an ongoing problem.


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Examples

If so, this event provides further proof of France’s acute vulnerability to Islamist terrorism. (The Telegraph)

A review of security arrangements is being carried out at an acute psychiatric unit located on the grounds of one of the busiest hospitals in the country, after the HSE confirmed three patients left the facility in the space of one month. (The Irish Times)

This is a moment of acute risk for America. (The Australian)

While the IOM notes common uses of diagnostic studies and interventions are not backed by evidence-based medicine to manage chronic pain, “the rampant use of opioids to treat chronic pain stands out as the lease defensible and most harmful of our maltreatments,” wrote Dr. Clauw. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

Chronic wasting disease has been introduced to Southwest Colorado – along with questions about where the disease might spread next. (The Durango Herald)

She and Meg Crocker-Curtis, director of the Penobscot Valley Humane Society shelter of Lincoln, say that abandoned cats and dogs are a chronic problem in the Lincoln Lakes region. (The Bangor Daily News)

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