80% of chronic disease deaths occur in low and middle-income countries and these deaths occur in equal numbers among men and women (1,2). It is vital that the increasing importance of chronic disease is anticipated, understood and acted upon urgently. 35 million people will die in 2005 from heart disease, stroke, cancer, and other chronic diseases. Only 20% of these deaths will be in high-income countries while 80% will occur in low income and middle-income countries of all deaths are due to chronic diseases.

Chronic diseases are defined broadly as conditions that last 1 year or more and require ongoing medical attention or limit activities of daily living or both. Chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes are the leading causes of death and disability in the United States. They are also leading drivers of the nation’s $3.3 trillion in annual health care costs.

Each year in the United States, more than 1.6 million people are diagnosed with cancer, and almost 600,000 die from it, making it the second leading cause of death. The cost of cancer care continues to rise and is expected to reach almost $174 billion by 2020”.

Nothing kills more Americans than heart disease and stroke. These diseases take an economic toll, as well, costing our health care system $199 billion per year and causing $131 billion in lost productivity on the job. Diabetes can cause heart disease, kidney failure, and blindness, and costs the US health care system and employers $237 billion every year.The first is the global epidemic of chronic disease, especially cardiovascular disease (CVD) and its associates—hypertension, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and kidney disease.

Department of Internal Medicine. Health Sciences Faculty- Universidad del Cauca- Topic No -57 PREVENTING CHRONIC DISEASES


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Órgano consultor del Gobierno Nacional en temas de educación médica y salud del pueblo colombiano.