Chronic disease is a broad term for any disease or condition that lasts one year or longer and requires ongoing medical attention or limits a person’s daily life. Some of the most common chronic diseases include heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
Chronic diseases affect nearly half of all U.S. adults. In the U.S., 70 percent of all deaths are due to chronic disease. In Canada, the figure is 89 percent. Three conditions – cancer, heart disease and stroke – account for about half of these deaths.
Learning how to address chronic illnesses and make informed health decisions is key to managing chronic disease and living a healthier life. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to managing symptoms of chronic disease, as each disease needs to be addressed individually with the help of a doctor. By modifying certain risk factors, such as a lack of physical activity, poor nutrition, tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption, LIUNA members and their families can prevent or lessen the negative effects of certain chronic diseases.