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.
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