Page 2 of 4
Class Progress
Page 5 of 7
Chapter Listing

Chronic Disease: A Global Issue on the Rise - DEMO


What is a Chronic Disease?

Chronic disease is defined as a physical or mental health condition lasting more than one year and causing functional restriction or requiring ongoing monitoring and or treatment. The scope of chronic disease is global and on the rise. Chronic diseases are among the most prevalent and costly health conditions worldwide. Chronic diseases can lead to hospitalization, long-term disability, reduction in quality of life and death and are the leading cause of death and disability. The treatment of chronic disease ranks poorly on cost and outcomes primarily because of an inability to effectively manage chronic disease. Reductions in unhealthy behaviors could prevent or delay chronic illness and, if we can learn how to effectively manage chronic conditions, avoiding hospitalizations and serious complications, healthcare systems can improve the quality of life for patients and greatly reduce the financial burden of chronic illness we share worldwide.

The Global Impact of Chronic Disease

The burden of chronic disease is rapidly increasing globally. In 2001 it was calculated that chronic disease contributed to approximately 60% of the 56.5 million deaths in the world and approximately 46% of the global burden of disease. The global burden of chronic disease is expected to increase to 57% by 2020. Almost one-half of chronic disease deaths are attributed to cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes. They are showing a worrisome trend because they affect a large proportion of the population and they are starting to appear earlier in life. The chronic disease problem is not limited to developed regions of the world. Developing countries are having increasingly high levels of health problems related to chronic disease. HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases still predominate in sub-Saharan Africa, but 79% of all deaths worldwide are attributable to chronic disease and are also occurring in developing countries, creating a double burden of disease. It is estimated by 2020 that chronic disease will account for ¾ of all deaths world-wide. In 2005, 133 million Americans had one chronic condition and in 2020 this number is expected to be 157 million. In 2005, 63 million Americans had multiple chronic illnesses and that number is expected to increase to 81 million in 2020.

Page 2 of 4