How You Can Prevent Chronic Diseases

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Many chronic diseases are caused by key risk behaviors. By making healthy choices, you can reduce your likelihood of getting a chronic disease and improve your quality of life.

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Stopping smoking (or never starting) lowers the risk of serious health problems, such as heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and lung disease, as well as premature death—even for longtime smokers. Take the first step and call 1-800-QUIT-NOW for FREE support.

Quit Smoking

Tips From Former Smokers 

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Eating healthy helps prevent, delay, and manage heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and other chronic diseases. A balanced diet of fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products is important at any age. If you are overweight, losing even 5% to 7% of your body weight can help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.

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Healthy Eating for a Healthy Weight

Plan Healthy Meals

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Regular physical activity can help you prevent, delay, or manage chronic diseases. Aim for moderate physical activity (like brisk walking or gardening) for at least 150 minutes a week.

Physical Activity and Health

Adding Physical Activity to Your Life

Physical Activity for a Healthy Weight  

alcoholic drinks

Over time, excessive drinking can lead to high blood pressure, various cancers, heart disease, stroke, and liver disease. By not drinking too much, you can reduce these health risks.

Alcohol Use and Your Health

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To prevent chronic diseases or catch them early, visit your doctor regularly for preventive services.

Cancer Screening Tests

Prediabetes and Diabetes Testing

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Insufficient sleep has been linked to the development and poor management of diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and depression. Adults should get at least 7 hours of sleep daily.

Basics About Sleep

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If you have a family history of a chronic disease, like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, or osteoporosis, you may be more likely to develop that disease yourself. Share your family health history with your doctor, who can help you take steps to prevent these conditions or catch them early.

Family Health History

CDC Feature: Knowing is Not Enough—Act on Your Family Health History

By making healthy behaviors part of your daily life, you can prevent conditions such as high blood pressure or obesity, which raise your risk of developing the most common and serious chronic diseases. Learn more about healthy actions you or your loved ones can take.

Page last reviewed: April 28, 2021