What is Chronic Disease?

Chronic Disease is a long-lasting condition that can be controlled but not cured.  Chronic illness affects the population worldwide. As described by the Centers for Disease Control, chronic disease is the leading cause of death and disability in the United States. It accounts for 70% of all deaths in the U.S., which is 1.7 million each year. Data from the World Health Organization show that chronic disease is also the major cause  of premature death around the world even in places where infectious disease are rampant. Although chronic diseases are among the most common and costly health problems, they are also among the most preventable and most can be effectively controlled.

Circles of Influence of Chronic Disease
Above: Circles of Influence in Self-Management of Chronic Disease

The Center for Managing Chronic Disease aims to help people control the effects of their chronic illness by putting them at the center of disease control solutions. When designs for patient education, service delivery, and payment systems all focus on supporting patients' efforts and building the capacity of individuals and families to manage disease effectively, disease control increases, health care costs go down, and family well-being improves.

Examples of chronic diseases that comprise the Center's research and demonstration agenda are:

You can read more about our studies and demonstrations related to chronic disease in the Center's current programs section of this website.