Chronic diseases are some of the leading killers in the United States. Early diagnosis and treatment are key to managing the disease, so knowing what the top offenders are can help you keep an eye out for the signs. Below, you’ll find information on the seven most common chronic diseases in the US.
What is a Chronic Disease?
Chronic disease is defined by the CDC as a condition that lasts at least a year and affects or limits daily activities or requires regular medical attention. Chronic diseases can affect any part of the body and may or may not be curable.
Catching the presence of chronic disease early means you’re more able to prevent it from getting worse. Without treatment, many of these chronic diseases can lead to death.
1. Heart Disease
Heart disease is an umbrella term that includes different heart conditions. Heart disease can affect any part of the heart and can stem from a number of reasons. One of the most common issues is heart attack. This is when blood cannot reach the heart due to a blocked artery.
Heart disease is typically thought of as a disease only men get, but it is the leading cause of death for men and women throughout the US.
Cancer comes in many forms and can affect any part of the body. Cancer appears when cells experience damage to their internal DNA and begin to reproduce quickly. These cells grow into a mass or tumor where they can then spread to other areas of the body.
3. Chronic Lung Disease
Chronic lung disease, also known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), covers a wide range of conditions that affect the lungs, like chronic bronchitis or asthma. With chronic lung disease, airflow to the lungs is restricted, so breathing is more difficult. It is estimated that nearly 16 million Americans have some form of chronic lung disease.
A stroke, like a heart attack, occurs when blood is blocked from reaching its destination, in this case, the brain. A stroke can also happen if there is a burst blood vessel in the brain.
Strokes affect nearly 800,000 patients each year. Of those, around 150,000 will die, making stroke the fourth leading cause of death in the US.
Unlike many other chronic diseases, Alzheimer’s disease is a disorder of the brain. The disease is progressive, worsening over time. After diagnosis, patients generally only live an average of eight years. It is the sixth leading cause of death in the US.
Symptoms include memory loss, strange behavior, disorientation, poor judgment, and more. As the condition progresses, patients may lose their inability to talk, complete tasks, and eat.
Diabetes is a condition where there is consistently too much glucose in the blood. In other words, blood sugar levels are too high, which can lead to even more health issues.
Type 1 diabetes is genetic, while type 2 diabetes is contracted through poor nutrition, especially too much sugar in the diet.
7. Chronic Kidney Disease
Kidneys are responsible for filtering your blood. When the kidneys are damaged, they can’t perform that task very well, leading to kidney disease. Symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and changes in frequency of urination.
If you or a family member are experiencing symptoms of potential chronic disease, visit an urgent care center near you. They’ll be able to check for indicators of chronic illness so you can stay on top of any potential health complications.
Visit AFC Urgent Care Bridgeport today if you need to check on certain health issues, visit for a sudden injury or illness, or get lab testing and illness diagnosis. If you need to talk to us or learn about our services just contact the team today!