Chronic diseases and conditions – such as heart disease, arthritis, asthma, depression, and diabetes – are the leading causes of death, disability, and rising healthcare costs in America. As of 2009, 145 million Americans – almost half of the population – were living with at least one chronic condition.

Almanac:  11/14/13

Not surprisingly, chronic diseases have become the leading cause of death and disability in the United States and worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, almost 9 out of every 10 deaths are attributable to chronic disease. Chronic diseases also compromise the quality of life of millions of Americans.

Rising rates of chronic diseases pose a significant and growing problem in the United States. As a result of many factors – including lifestyle choices, as well as lack of access to/or emphasis on preventive care – the incidence of chronic diseases has increased dramatically over the last three decades. With the growth in obesity – especially among younger Americans – the diagnosis of childhood chronic diseases has almost quadrupled since 1960, and rates of chronic disease are expected to continue to rise. Read More