Prologue and preamble The views of Collingwood can be summarized as follows. The philosophy of history is concerned neither with ‘the past by itself’ nor with ‘the historian's thought about it by itself’, but with ‘the two things in their mutual relations’. (This dictum reflects the two current meanings of the word ‘history’ – the inquiry conducted by the historian and the series of past events into which he inquires.) Carr (1961: 1l)
Summary The roots of a dysfunctional health system and the collision of the epidemics of communicable and non-communicable diseases in South Africa can be found in policies from periods of the country's history, from colonial subjugation, apartheid dispossession, to the post-apartheid period. Racial and gender discrimination, the migrant labour system, the destruction of family life, vast income inequalities, and extreme violence have all formed part of South Africa's troubled past, and all have inexorably affected health and health services. In 1994, when apartheid ended, the health system faced massive challenges, many of which still persist. Macroeconomic policies, fostering growth rather than redistribution, contributed to the persistence of economic disparities between races despite a large expansion in social grants. The public health system has been transformed into an integrated, comprehensive national service, but failures in leadership and stewardship and weak management have led to inadequate implementation of what are often good policies. Pivotal facets of primary health care are not in place and there is a substantial human resources crisis facing the health sector. The HIV epidemic has contributed to and accelerated these challenges. All of these factors need to be addressed by the new government if health is to be improved and the Millennium Development Goals achieved in South Africa.
From 95,196 sample adults in the combined 2010, 2013, and 2015 U.S. National Health Interview Survey, we estimated the association between histories of epilepsy and heart disease after accounting for sociodemographic characteristics and behavioral risk factors. Adults 18 years old or older with an epilepsy history reported heart disease (21%) about nine percentage points more often than those without such a history (12%), overall and within levels of characteristics and risk factors. These increases in heart disease history for adults with an epilepsy history compared with adults without such a history were greater in those 45–64 years old or at the lowest family income levels. These increases of heart disease in adults with an epilepsy history highlight two needs—to prevent the occurrence of heart disease and to reduce its consequences. Because comorbidity from heart disease can complicate epilepsy management, physicians caring for those with epilepsy should be aware of these increased risks, identify risk factors for heart disease, and recommend to their patients with epilepsy ways to diminish these risks.