A chronic condition is a human health condition or disease that is persistent or otherwise long-lasting in its effects or a disease that comes with time. The term chronic is usually applied when the course of the disease lasts for more than three months. Common chronic diseases include arthritis, asthma, cancer, COPD, diabetes and viral diseases such as hepatitis C and HIV/AIDS.
In medicine, the opposite of chronic is acute. A chronic course is further distinguished from a recurrent course; recurrent diseases relapse repeatedly, with periods of remission in between.
The non-communicable diseases are also usually lasting medical conditions but are separated by their non-infectious causes. In contrast, some chronic diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, are caused by transmissible infections.
Chronic diseases constitute a major cause of mortality and the World Health Organization (WHO) reports chronic non-communicable conditions to be by far the leading cause of mortality in the world.
Examples of chronic diseases and health conditions include:
- Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases
- Autoimmune diseases, such as ulcerative colitis, lupus erythematosus, Crohn’s Disease, Coeliac Disease, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and Relapsing polychondritis
- Cancer / neoplastic diseases not amenable to be cured
- Cardiovascular diseases: cerebrovascular disease, heart failure, ischemic cardiopathy
- Myalgic encephalomyelitis
- Chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD)
- Chronic hepatitis
- Cerebral palsy (all types)
- Chronic pain syndromes, such as post-vasectomy pain syndrome and complex regional pain syndrome
- Chronic osteoarticular diseases: osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis
- Chronic renal failure, Chronic Kidney Disease
- Chronic respiratory diseases: asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary hypertension
- Deafness and hearing impairment
- Diabetes mellitus
- Mental illness
- Periodontal disease
- Sickle Cell Anemia and other hemoglobin disorders
- Thyroid disease
- Transplant recipients on immunosuppressants
- Lyme Disease
- Blood Pressure abnormalities
- Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (Various types)
- Sleep apnea
- Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome
- Multiple Sclerosis