How You Can Prevent Chronic Diseases

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.

See also Top 4 Tips to Prevent Chronic Diseases.

Quit Smoking

chalkboard with messages "quit smoking" and "1-800-quit-now"

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 

Eat Healthy

man and woman washing vegetables

Eating healthy helps prevent, delay, and manage heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and other chronic diseases. A balanced, healthy dietary pattern includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy products and limits added sugars, saturated fats, and sodium.

Healthy Eating for a Healthy Weight

Plan Healthy Meals

Get Regular Physical Activity

family riding bicycles

Regular physical activity can help you prevent, delay, or manage chronic diseases. Aim for moderate intensity physical activity (like brisk walking or gardening) for at least 150 minutes a week, with muscle-strengthening activities 2 days a week.

Physical Activity and Health

Adding Physical Activity to Your Life

Physical Activity for a Healthy Weight  

Avoid Drinking Too Much Alcohol

Person stopping someone from pouring more wine

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

Check your alcohol use and make a customized plan for drinking less.

Get Screened

doctor and smiling male patient

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

Cancer Screening Tests

Prediabetes and Diabetes Testing

Take Care of Your Teeth

woman smiling

Oral diseases—which range from cavities and gum disease to oral cancer—cause pain and disability for millions of Americans. To help prevent these problems, drink fluoridated water, brush with fluoride toothpaste twice a day, and floss daily. Visit your dentist at least once a year, even if you have no natural teeth or have dentures.

More Oral Health Tips

Get Enough Sleep

alarm clock with woman in background opening window shades

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

Know Your Family History

family sitting on sofa

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

Make Healthy Choices in School and at Work

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.