A chronic disease is basically a disease that lasts for one or more years and needs ongoing medical surveillance and treatment, or it may be a disease that impedes day-to-day living by limiting activities or both of the above. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 6 in 10 adults have a chronic disease and 4 in 10 adults have 2 or more chronic diseases. Diabetes is a chronic disease that raises the risk for other chronic diseases like heart disease, strokes and neurodegenerative diseases. Chronic diseases are the main reasons for the $3.3 trillion dollars in yearly health care costs. Chronic diseases are the leading causes of death and disability in the United States. Seven out of the 10 leading causes of death are directly from chronic diseases and the other three may indirectly be a cause of death.
Leading Causes of Death in the United States Directly or Indirectly from Chronic Diseases
Number of Deaths from Chronic Diseases
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the leading causes of death in the United States and their numbers are:
1. Heart disease is a chronic disease and the number one leading cause of death in the United States:
2. Cancer is a chronic disease and is the second leading cause of death:
3. Accidents (unintentional injuries) are the 3rd leading cause of death. However, some accidents are caused by people who get a heart attack or stroke while driving. Some people who suffer from serious falls may also have had a stroke or heart attack.
Chronic lower respiratory diseases are the 4th leading cause of death:
5. Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases) is the 5th leading cause of death and is the main cause of disability in seniors in the United States.
6. Alzheimer’s disease is a chronic neurodegenerative disease and is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States:
7. Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disease and is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States:
8. Influenza and pneumonia are mainly infectious diseases and are the 8th leading cause of death in the United States. However, there are kinds of pneumonias like aspirated pneumonia that while it is an infection it may be from chronic diseases like Parkinson’s disease or strokes that cause chewing and swallowing problems:
9. Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis are chronic kidney diseases and are the 9th leading cause of death in the United States:
10. Intentional self-harm (suicide) is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States and many of the reasons are from depression that sets in from chronic diseases:
List of Chronic Diseases
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Breast Cancer
- Cervical Cancer
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- Chronic Kidney Diseases
- Colorectal (Colon) Cancer
- Gynecologic Cancer
- Heart Disease
- High Blood Pressure
- Multiple Chronic Conditions
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Skin Cancer
- Tooth Decay
- Type 2 Diabetes
Many Chronic Diseases are Preventable
Tragically, many chronic diseases can be prevented by people making the right lifestyle choices such as:
- Do not smoke.
- Get plenty of physical exercise.
- Do not drink excessive amounts of alcohol.
- Eat a good healthy diet with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Chronic Disease and Short or Long-term Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Care
Chronic diseases are one of the main reasons seniors may need short-term rehabilitation or long-term skilled nursing care.
The Van Duyn Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing in Syracuse, New York
The Van Duyn Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing in Syracuse, New York is a certified residential skilled nursing facility, offering short-term rehabilitation and long-term care to people with health conditions that require higher levels of medical and nursing services.
A team of physicians cares for each resident under the supervision of the medical director of Van Duyn. Each nursing unit has its own doctor and consultant physicians who specialize in the areas of dermatology, podiatry, urology, ophthalmology, neurology, dentistry, surgical and ENT are available to this qualified medical staff.
Registered professional nurses, assisted by well-trained and qualified licensed practical nurses and certified nursing assistants, provide 24-hour care. Nurse practitioners are also on-site each day to support the nursing and medical teams.
It is best to take all the steps necessary, so as not to develop chronic illnesses many of which are easier to prevent than to treat.