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A List of Chronic Diseases

By Janelle Vaesa ; Updated August 14, 2017

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 70 percent of all deaths in the United States are due to chronic diseases. Lack of physical activity, tobacco use, not consuming enough fruits and vegetables and drinking too much alcohol are common causes of chronic disease. According to the CDC, heart disease, cancer and stoke are the most common types of chronic diseases. With the exception of genetic risk factors, these chronic diseases can be prevented.

Heart Disease reports that 40 percent of all U.S. deaths are due to heart disease, making it the leading cause of death in the U.S. Heart disease is an umbrella term to describe many types of diseases that can affect the heart and sometimes the blood vessels. Symptoms that include shortness of breath, pain, weakness or numbness in arms or legs, can be related to cardiovascular disease. Heart arrhythmias, which are irregular heartbeats, can show symptoms of a sensation of fluttering in the chest, a racing or slow heart beat, chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness or fainting. Valvular heart disease occurs when one more of the heart valves are not working. These symptoms can include fatigue, shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat, swollen feet and/or ankles, chest pain and fainting.


The American Stroke Association identifies two types of strokes; ischemic and hemorrhagic. Ischemic stroke occurs when a clot blocks the blood flow to the brain. A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel ruptures and prevents blood flow to the brain. The symptoms of a stroke include loss of balance, slurred speech, paralysis or numbness on one side of the body, and blurred, double or blackened vision. A severe headache can be present and may cause stiffness in the neck, pain between the eyes and/or vomiting.


According to the CDC, each year cancer is responsible for a half a million deaths in the U.S., which makes cancer the second leading cause of death in the United States. Cancer affects all races and ethnic backgrounds but is more prevalent in the African American population, according to the CDC. Like heart disease and stroke, sometimes cancer can be prevented. Poor nutrition, not getting enough exercise, drinking too much alcohol and using tobacco are risk factors for developing these chronic diseases. Screenings and annual checkups are also ways the CDC recommends to prevent cancer.

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