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Disabilities Awareness and Resources

Created to provide insights and information about disabilities.

What is Chronic Illness?

According to the World Health Organization, noncommunicable diseases (or chronic diseases) are marked by their long term duration and generally slow progression. These types of diseases are not passed from person to person. The four main types of chronic illness are cardiovascular diseases (like heart attacks and stroke), cancers, chronic respiratory diseases (such as chronic obstructed pulmonary disease and asthma) and diabetes. Just to show an example of the breadth of chronic illnesses, some other types of chronic illness include:

  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Conditions that cause chronic pain
  • Arthritis
  • Lyme Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis

Chronic illnesses can cause pain and fatigue, stress, and be generally disrupting to a person's life. Many times, chronic illnesses are invisible, which means that, to an outsider's perspective, it is not obvious that a person is dealing with a disease. This can result in feelings of isolation in individuals who have a chronic illness. With the right care, many people can cope with the symptoms of their chronic illness. Some chronic illnesses are preventable with the help of appropriate education and health care.

National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention & Health Promotion