Health Care School is in Session: What is a Chronic Disease?

Health Care School is in Session: What is a Chronic Disease?

At one point or another, you’ll probably need to see a doctor for something. You may have a sore throat, or broken arm or kid with a high fever. No matter why you’re going to the doctor, it’s important to understand common medical terms.

Ideally, you’ll only have to go to the doctor for preventive care to stay healthy and find any medical issues early when they are easiest to treat. With the Affordable Care Act, most preventive services are provided at no out-of-pocket costs. Even screenings that check for chronic conditions such as diabetes or asthma are covered. Still, one day you may need a doctor to help you manage a chronic disease.

What is a Chronic Disease?
A chronic disease, also known as a chronic illness, is a long-lasting health condition than can be controlled, but not cured. You may know someone who has a chronic disease. Chronic diseases tend to become more common with age, but younger people can also be diagnosed with a chronic disease. 

Examples of chronic disease include:

Talk with your doctor if you think you may have a chronic condition or any ongoing health issue.

Chronic diseases are often detected and confirmed with a diagnostic testing. Diagnostic tests can also be used to confirm that a person doesn’t have a disease.

Your doctor can help you determine if you need diagnostic testing and provide you with a referral for any necessary testing, screening or visits with a specialist.

Source: About Chronic Diseases, leaving site icon Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2022.

Originally published  10/5/2015; Revised 2019, 2022