Chronic Diseases: Understanding the Medical Conditions and their Causes

Chronic diseases are medical conditions that are generally progressive. These lifelong conditions, which include heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and asthma, can be managed with simple lifestyle changes.

​What are chronic diseases?

What Are Chronic Diseases?​

Medical conditions like diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), high blood cholesterol, stroke, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are lifelong conditions. Therefore, it is important to take charge of your health and manage these conditions to lead a fulfilling life.

Chronic diseases are long-term medical conditions that are generally progressive. At present, these are the major causes of disability and death globally. Chronic diseases are also the major causes of premature adult deaths in many parts of the world. According to the World Health Organisation, almost half of all chronic disease deaths occur in people under the age of 70.

Common Chronic Diseases in Singapore

In Singapore, chronic diseases are significant causes of illness and death. Common chronic diseases that affect Singaporeans are:
Asthma
Stroke

The table below shows the lifestyle-related risk factors of cancer, stroke, heart disease, hypertension and diabetes.


Chronic illnesses have a serious impact on individuals and on society in general. They affect the quality of life of individuals and can be a financial burden on those who are affected.

A number of risk factors related to an individual's lifestyle can contribute to the development of chronic disease (e.g. cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory conditions and diabetes). Risk factors such as an unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and smoking are mostly modifiable. Adopting healthy lifestyle practices such as a healthy diet,​ regular physical activity​, and quitting​ smoking​ or avoiding tobacco use can prevent or control the onset of debilitating and expensive complications of chronic disease.

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Chronic Diseases: Understanding the Medical Conditions and their Causes

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