An important one that public health officials in the social science setting have begun highlighting is chronic poverty.While risk factors vary with age and gender, most of the common chronic diseases in the US are caused by dietary, lifestyle and metabolic risk factors that are also responsible for the resulting mortality.

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Chronic illnesses cause about 70% of deaths in the US and in 2002 chronic conditions (heart disease, cancers, stroke, chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, mental illness and kidney diseases) were 6 of the top ten causes of mortality in the general US population.

Healthy People 2010 reported that more than 75% of the $2 trillion spent annually in US medical care are due to chronic conditions; spending are even higher in proportion for Medicare beneficiaries (aged 65 years and older).

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 often applied when the course of the disease lasts for more than three months.

Therefore, these conditions might be prevented by behavioral changes, such as quitting smoking, adopting a healthy diet, and increasing physical activity.

Social determinants are important risk factors for chronic diseases.

While the majority of chronic conditions are found in individuals between the ages of 18 and 64, it is estimated that at least 80% of older Americans are currently living with some form of a chronic condition, with 50% of this population having two or more chronic conditions.

In examining the statistics of chronic disease among the living elderly, it is also important to make note of the statistics pertaining to fatalities as a result of chronic disease.

Those barriers to medical care complicate patients monitoring and continuity in treatment.

In the US, Minorities and low-income populations are less likely to access and receive preventive services necessary to detect conditions at an early stage.

Spending growth is driven in part by the greater prevalence of chronic illnesses, and the longer life expectancy of the population.