Chronic diseases and conditions, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and arthritis are among the most common, costly, and preventable of all health problems. Half of all American adults have at least one chronic condition, and almost one in three has multiple chronic conditions.

  • Chronic diseases, heart disease, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases and stroke are the leading causes of death in the United States.
  • Seven of every 10 deaths in the U.S. are caused by chronic conditions; heart disease is the leading cause of death among both men and women, followed by cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases; diabetes is seventh.
  • Chronic disabling conditions cause major limitations in activity for more than one of every 10 Americans, or 25 million people.
  • Many chronic conditions can be prevented by not smoking, being more physically active and eating nutritious foods.
While guidelines vary depending on health status, the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans adopted in 2008 recommend that adults engage in 2.5 hours of physical activity per week to lower their risks of heart disease, stroke and other chronic conditions.
Source: CDC, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. (2010)