About Chronic Diseases

Six in ten adults in the US have a chronic disease and four in ten adults have two or more.

Chronic diseases are defined broadly as conditions that last 1 year or more and require ongoing medical attention or limit activities of daily living or both. Chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes are the leading causes of death and disability in the United States. They are also leading drivers of the nation’s $3.5 trillion in annual health care costs.

Many chronic diseases are caused by a short list of risk behaviors:

Major Chronic Diseases
Major Risk Factors
Page last reviewed: October 23, 2019