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Preventing Chronic Diseases: Taking Charge of Your Health

Sunday, November 26th, 2023

Chronic diseases have significant health and economic costs in the United States. Interventions to prevent and manage these diseases have significant health and economic benefits .

Key Chronic Diseases and their Impact
Heart Disease and Stroke: Heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of death in the United States, responsible for one-third of all deaths. They also have a significant economic toll, costing the healthcare system $216 billion per year and causing $147 billion in lost productivity .

Cancer: Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States. Each year, more than 1.7 million people are diagnosed with cancer, and almost 600,000 die from it. The cost of cancer care continues to rise and is expected to reach more than $240 billion by 2030 .

Epilepsy: Epilepsy affects about 3 million adults and 470,000 children in the United States. It is a chronic condition that can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life .

Preventive Measures for Chronic Diseases
Quit Smoking: Stopping smoking or never starting can lower the risk of serious health problems such as heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and lung disease. Free support is available by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW .

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

Get Regular Physical Activity: Regular physical activity can help prevent, delay, or manage chronic diseases. It is recommended to engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity per week, along with muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days.

Take Care of Your Physical Health: Taking care of your physical health, including managing chronic health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, and high cholesterol, can contribute to better cognitive health .

Regular Health Screenings: Regular visits to the doctor for health screenings are essential for healthy aging and can help catch chronic diseases early. Screenings can uncover diseases and conditions that may not yet be apparent, allowing for early treatment .

Manage Risk Factors: Managing risk factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and a family history of kidney failure can help prevent or manage chronic kidney disease.