About Chronic Disease

Illnesses, diseases or conditions are classified as acute or chronic.

Acute illnesses or conditions begin quickly and last only a short time. People with an acute condition can expect to return to normal health. Examples are colds, the flu or broken bones just to name a few.

Chronic diseases (or long term conditions):

  • Last a long time, they may last your whole lifetime;
  • Have many causes but they often share some common risk factors;
  • Usually begin slowly and develop gradually over time;
  • Can occur at any age, although they become more common in later life;
  • Can impact quality of life and limit daily activities; and,
  • Require ongoing actions on a long-term basis to manage the disease, with involvement from individuals, health care providers, and the community.

Examples of chronic diseases:

  • Arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Lung disease
  • Heart disease
  • Depression
  • Cancer
  • Hepatitis B and C
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD)
  • Schizophrenia
  • Parkinson’s disease
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Last updated: 2021-05-03