Chronic Disease

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, chronic diseases are responsible for 7 of 10 deaths each year and treating people with chronic diseases accounts for 86% of our nation’s health care costs. 

While chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, type 2 diabetes and obesity are common and costly, they are also preventable. The cause of many chronic conditions, illnesses and early deaths are also directly traceable to behaviors such as lack of physical activity, tobacco and alcohol use, and poor nutrition. 

Local health departments are key partners in efforts to implement policies that help protect and improve the health of people living in their community. They implement a host of common sense approaches to help lower the burden of chronic disease, including increasing access to healthy foods, and sponsoring screenings to help residents identify chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease. Then they connect people with services and tools to help them get healthier.

Related Content

Advocacy & Policy

  • The Big Cities Health Coalition joined more than 60 other organizations in signing a letter to Congress in support of reauthorizing important safety net programs without using funding from the Prevention & Public Health Fund (PPHF) as an offset.
  • The Big Cities Health Coalition wrote a letter to the Majority and Minority leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Chairperson and Ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, expressing opposition to a recent legislative proposal that would cut over $6 billion in funds from the PPHF over the next decade.
  • BCHC wrote a letter to Congressional leaders requesting their support for a strong, secure PPHF, which was passed as part of the Affordable Care Act.

City Data

Click below to explore data on chronic disease in cities.

Philadelphia: Innovative Efforts Result in Big Drops in Obesity Among Youth of Color

“Philly is special,” notes Food Trust Executive Director Yael Lehmann. “There are some special things happening there, especially around food and food access.” 


Clark County (Las Vegas): Getting Physically Active and Cutting Calories via Mobile Apps, Social Media, and Technology

Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD), which serves 2.1 million residents of Clark County Nevada and more than 40 million visitors annually to Las Vegas, has added new innovative strategies to the Office of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion’s “Get Healthy Clark County” campaign in the form of mobile applications.