Most experts agree that a disease or condition is considered chronic, if it has been present for three months or more. Some diseases like, asthma, cancer, and diabetes can affect people at any age, but with advancing age comes an increased risk of developing 1 or more chronic diseases.
Diseases such as arthritis, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cancer, cardiovascular disease, peripheral vascular disease, type 1 diabetes, high blood pressure, chronic kidney disease, and some ongoing mental disorders are illnesses that are considered chronic.
Some chronic diseases develop because of genetic — hereditary — risk factors. Others develop from of lifestyle choices. While you can’t change your heredity or family medical history, it’s helpful to know which lifestyle choices raise your risk for developing a chronic illness. They are:
For example, smoking damages your lungs and arteries and raises your risk of developing several types of cancer, including lung cancer, COPD as well as increasing your risk for cardiovascular disease. High blood pressure — hypertension — increases your risk of having a heart attack and stroke and can also damage the arteries of your kidneys, which raises your risk of having chronic kidney disease.
The doctors at First physicians are skilled at treating chronic diseases and will: