Chronic disease is any illness or injury which lasts for three months or longer. When we hear about chronic diseases, we usually think of illnesses like diabetes, cancer, or heart disease and stroke.
These are some of the most common health problems adult Americans suffer from every year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC) created a list of the top ten leading causes of death. More than five of the leading causes are chronic illnesses.
Chronic illnesses do not just affect our physical health but can also impact our thoughts and feelings, relationships with loved ones, and our jobs.
Chronic diseases can sometimes be caused by our health behaviors or sometimes they can be caused by our genes and family history.
However, for minority populations, the chances of getting and or dying from a chronic disease like heart disease is higher compared to other people. This is because of the location of where they live, how much money they earn from their jobs, and their level of education.
National Health Council, 2014
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016