Chronic Disease Day is marked every year on July 10 to spread awareness about long-term health conditions that require medical attention for more than a year and restrict the patients' daily activities.

It is estimated that seven out of 10 people suffer from some form of chronic disease in the U.S. and four in 10 adults have two or more chronic conditions. Chronic diseases are the leading cause of death and disability in the U.S.

Heart disease, cancer and diabetes are the most common chronic diseases. Factors such as smoking and tobacco use, poor diet, alcohol intake and lack of physical exercise raise the risk for chronic conditions.

They are non-communicable conditions that can often be prevented as they are linked to lifestyle choices a person makes.

Tips to prevent long-term health conditions

  • Healthy Diet - Poor diet is often associated with an increased risk of developing chronic diseases. Experts believe adjusting the diet plan to include more plant-based meals, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy products helps in preventing chronic conditions such as obesity, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. They also recommend cutting down on sodium, refined sugar and saturated fats in the diet.
  • Quit Smoking - Smoking is the primary cause of cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. More than 16 million people in the U.S. live with a disease caused by smoking. Most of these conditions can be reversed when a person quits the cigarette. Three years after quitting smoking, the risk of a heart attack in a smoker will reduce to that of a nonsmoker and the risk of lung cancer reduces to half in five years.
  • Routine exercise - Including aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities is highly essential for staying fit and reducing the chances of developing hypertension, cardiac diseases and diabetes. Staying physically active also cuts down the risk of many types of cancer, depression and anxiety and dementia.
  • Cut down on alcohol - Excessive use of alcohol over a long period can cause chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease and various cancers. Limiting the use of alcohol can help in improving memory, immune system and mental health and solve digestive disorders.