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A chronic disease is one that is long lasting while an acute disease is short lasting. You can be born with a chronic disease or you also can get sick with a chronic disease at any point in life.  Some chronic diseases can be prevented or treated.  Most chronic diseases cannot be directly transmitted from person to person and are not contagious. Genetics, lifestyle and environmental facts can increase your risk of certain conditions. Some chronic diseases do not have a known cause. 

Chronic diseases are very common. Even if you develop a chronic disease that cannot not be prevented or cured, you often can still manage the symptoms of the disease to increase your quality of life. Your healthcare provider can help you develop the best plan for you. 

There are many chronic diseases these are just a few of the more common ones. 


You can develop arthritis at any age, though it is more common as you age. Arthritis can cause pain around your joints. The causes and symptoms of arthritis vary depending on the type. However, maintaining a healthy weight (or losing weight), staying active and seeking medical attention if you begin to experience joint pain can be helpful in preventing arthritis or to lessen the severity. 

Learn more about arthritis 


Asthma can affect your breathing. While there is not a cure for asthma, it can be treated through medication and avoiding environmental triggers as much as possible. You can be born with asthma or develop it later. Many people with asthma are diagnosed as a child. An asthma attack can be life-threatening and you may need to go to the emergency room for treatment. Many people with asthma keep treatments at home they can use for a mild asthma attack. Your asthma triggers or the severity of your symptoms may change as you age. Asthma can make you more susceptible to other respiratory illnesses. 

Learn more about asthma

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

COPD makes it harder to breath. Emphysema is a form of COPD. There is not a cure for COPD but it can be treated and symptoms can be managed through medications or supplemental oxygen. In the United States, smoking is a significant cause of COPD. 

Learn more about COPD

Coronary Heart Disease

Coronary heart disease, also known as coronary artery disease or ischemic heart disease, leads to narrow or blocked arteries in your heart. Complications from coronary heart disease include heart attacks or blood clots. Getting enough sleep, not smoking and doing regular cardio exercise can help reduce your risk of developing coronary heart disease. 

​Learn more about coronary artery disease


There are three types of diabetes. Type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes all have different causes and require slightly different treatments to manage. Up to 90% of the people living with diabetes have type 2. You can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes though lifestyle choices such as exercise and eating healthy food. Untreated or poorly managed diabetes can lead to further health complications such as vision loss or kidney disease. Prediabetes can be a warning that you are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes and you can take steps to avoid developing type 2 diabetes through lifestyle changes. 

Learn more about diabetes


HIV and some sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are chronic conditions. While symptoms can be managed and protective measures can be taken to reduce the risk of spreading the illness to others, HIV and some STDs do not have a cure. 

Learn more about HIV and STDs

Hypertension (high blood pressure)

Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, can be a chronic condition. Hypertension increases the risk of stroke and heart disease. You can reduce your risk of hypertension and you can lower your blood pressure if it gets too high. Medication and lifestyle changes can help manage your hypertension. Many people do not show symptoms of hypertension in the beginning stages and checking your blood pressure might be the only way you know you are developing or have hypertension. 

Learn more about high blood pressure

Mental Illness

Mental illness can be, but is not always, a chronic condition. Having another chronic condition can increase the risk of depression and other mental illnesses may be chronic on their own. For example, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and addiction can be chronic since they cannot be cured but symptoms can be managed with medication and lifestyle changes. Many mental illnesses are caused by factors outside your control, such as genetics or trauma. Seek medical attention if you believe you have a mental illness. If you experience a mental health crisis where you fear you might hurt yourself or others, call 911 or go to the emergency room. 

Learn more about mental health