About Chronic Disease

Chronic diseases are long-lasting conditions that usually can be controlled but not cured. People living with chronic illnesses often must manage daily symptoms that affect their quality of life, and experience acute health problems and complications that can shorten their life expectancy. According to the Centers for Disease Control, chronic disease is the leading cause of death and disability in the United States, accounting for 70% of all deaths. Moreover, chronic conditions such as back pain and depression are often the main drivers of decreased productivity and increased healthcare costs. Data from the World Health Organization show that chronic disease is the major cause of premature death around the world, even in places where infectious disease are rampant. The good news is that through effective behavior change efforts, appropriate medical management, and systematic monitoring to identifying new problems, chronic diseases and their consequences can often be prevented or managed effectively.

CMCD aims to help people prevent and 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 building the capacity of individuals and families to manage disease effectively, disease control improves, health care costs go down, and family well-being gets better.


Here are some examples of chronic diseases that are included in CMCD’s research agenda:

  • Allergies and Asthma
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular Diseases
  • Chronic Back Pain and Other Pain Syndromes
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Obesity
  • Substance Abuse Disorders

You can read more about CMCD’s studies, demonstration projects, and evaluations in the Research & Program Areas┬ásection of this website.