There are several definitions which describe Chronic Disease. Here are two from a National and International perspective:
The Australian Government Department of Health, 2015:
Chronic disease has been defined as illness that is prolonged in duration, does not often resolve spontaneously, and is rarely cured completely. Chronic diseases are complex and varied in terms of their nature, how they are caused and the extent of their impact on the community. While some chronic diseases make large contributions to premature death, others contribute more to disability. Features common to most chronic diseases include:
World Health Organisation, 2015:
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), also known as chronic diseases, are not passed from person to person. They are of long duration and generally slow progression. The four main types of non-communicable diseases are cardiovascular diseases (like heart attacks and stroke), cancers, chronic respiratory diseases (such as chronic obstructed pulmonary disease and asthma) and diabetes.
In 2010, chronic diseases were the leading causes of death in Australia, with the most common causes including cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases and diabetes (Australian Bureau of Statistics). They are caused by multiple factors including genetics, lifestyle and environment, and are expected to become more common as the population ages and risk factors increase. The World Health Organisation reports a similar trend worldwide: Chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes, are by far the leading cause of mortality in the world, representing 60% of all deaths. (WHO, 2015)
In many cases chronic diseases can be prevented. In cases when chronic diseases are not preventable, the management and medical treatment work more favourably in those persons who adopt healthy behaviours, such as controlling body weight, eating nutritious foods, avoiding tobacco use, and increasing physical activity.
Whilst most chronic diseases begin in adulthood, the risk factors that lead to their onset often begin in childhood, or even in the womb. At the Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention (CCDP) we recognize the cumulative impact of our social and biological influences and focus our research on these interactions throughout the life span.
At CCDP we have a multidisciplinary team that research and collaborate on a wide range of projects directly aimed at Chronic Disease prevention in some of the most rural and remote communities in Australia. Some of our researchers are chief investigators on these projects whilst others may be experts in subject areas that value add to existing projects. Please select one of the icons below to find out more about our key research areas.
Here are some useful websites:
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare: http://www.aihw.gov.au/chronic-diseases
The Department of Health: http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/chronic
World Health Organization: http://www.who.int/topics/noncommunicable_diseases/en
The Heart Foundation: http://www.heartfoundation.org.au
Diabetes Australia: http://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au
Obesity Australia: http://www.obesityaustralia.org
Monash Obesity and Diabetes Institute: http://www.modi.monash.edu.au