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Types of Chronic Disease

Asthma

Asthma is a leading chronic illness among children and youth in the U.S. and one of the leading causes of school absenteeism. In 2007, 5.6 million school-aged children and youth (5-17 years old) were reported to currently have asthma. In addition, teachers and custodians have been identified as having higher rates of occupational asthma. Learn more

Heart Disease

The most common form of heart disease in the United States is coronary artery disease, which can lead to a heart attack.  The risk of developing coronary artery disease may be greatly reduced through improvements lifestyle choices that include diet and exercise. 

If you have already been diagnosed with heart disease, you can maintain your condition by doing the following: 

  • Checking your blood pressure routinely
  • Monitoring your cholesterol
  • Managing diabetes
  • Taking medications as prescribed by a healthcare professional 

For further information on how to prevent and manage heart disease, please visit the following organizations:

American Heart Association

CDC Heart Disease Information 

Stroke

A stroke, sometimes called a brain attack, occurs when a clot blocks the blood supply to the brain or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts.  Stroke can cause death or significant disability, such as paralysis, speech difficulties, and emotional problems. 

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States and, in many cases, can be prevented. 

For further information on stroke and ways to prevent and manage it, please visit:

CDC Stroke Information

National Stroke Association

American Stroke Association

Cancer

Cancer is a general term for more than 100 diseases in which abnormal cells in a part of the body begin to grow out of control.  No matter where the cancer spreads, it is always named for the part of the body where it originated. Statistics state that half of all men and one third of all women will develop cancer in their lifetime.

While there are many forms of cancer, the methods of prevention tend to be the same.  There is no cure for cancer as yet, however good nutrition, physical activity, avoiding tobacco use and getting your recommended health screenings (such as colorectal and cervical) will all assist in helping prevent cancer from developing. 

Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease in which blood glucose levels are above normal. Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose, or sugar, for our bodies to use for energy. The pancreas, an organ that lies near the stomach, makes a hormone called insulin to help glucose get into the cells of our bodies. When you have diabetes, your body either doesn't make enough insulin or can't use its own insulin as well as it should. This causes sugar to build up in your blood.

Diabetes can cause serious health complications including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.

While there are multiple types of diabetes, two are most common in the United States: 

  • Type 1 diabetes, which is believed to be triggered by environmental exposure to viruses and bacteria that attack the body's immune system
  • Type 2 diabetes, which is typically associated with obesity

    Research shows that regular physical activity and a healthy diet can significantly reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

    Learn more here

    Arthritis

    Arthritis is the most common cause of disability in the U.S.  The word arthritis actually means joint inflammation. The term arthritis is used to describe more than 100 rheumatic diseases and conditions that affect joints, the tissues which surround the joint and other connective tissue.  Typically, rheumatic conditions are characterized by pain and stiffness in and around one or more joints. The symptoms can develop gradually or suddenly. There are multiple forms of arthritis and each has its own unique symptoms.

    NEA HIN has partnered with the CDC to distribute the Arthritis Self-Management Kit.  If you suffer from arthritis, please visit: www.neahin.org/arthritiskits and order one today.

    To learn more about the topic of arthritis, please visit:

    CDC Arthritis Information

    National Institutes of Health