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What are the most common diseases in adults?

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In adults, some of the most common diseases are obesity, stroke, cancer, arthritis, heart conditions and diabetes. Based on 2012 statistics, one or more of these chronic conditions affect nearly 117 million adults in the United States, as stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hypertension and high cholesterol blood, which are risk factors for stroke and heart disease, also affect many Americans.

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Moreover, it is important to note that these chronic conditions, which in many cases are preventable, can lead to death or disability. For example, arthritis often leads to disabilities, while cancer and heart disease account for approximately 48 percent of deaths in the United States, as noted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The main causes of these different chronic medical issues are connected to lifestyle behaviors, including smoking, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, not getting enough exercise and eating unhealthy foods. An example of how diet affects health is the use of sodium, which can lead to hypertension. Approximately 90 percent of the American population include foods in their diets that contain high quantities of sodium.

Other statistics demonstrate how these chronic conditions can adversely affect the population of different states in the United States. For example, in the state of New York, 60 percent of the deaths reported were attributed to chronic diseases, according to the New York State State Department of Health.

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