The most common chronic diseases include heart disease, diabetes, stroke, cancer and arthritis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Heart disease and cancer accounted for nearly 48 percent of deaths in 2010. Disabilities are usually caused by arthritis, and diabetes is the primary cause of kidney failure.
The leading chronic diseases are also the most costly and preventable, states the CDC. Current health risks are led by lifestyle behaviors, such as exercise, nutritional choices, tobacco use and alcohol consumption.
In 2011, most adults over the age of 18 did not achieve the minimum recommended aerobic exercise, and 76 percent did not engage in enough muscle-building strength training activity, notes the CDC. Almost half of all American adults have at least one preventable condition that puts them at risk of stroke or heart disease, including high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol and smoking.
Obesity is also a health concern that puts many people at risk, states the CDC. Between 2009 and 2010, over one-third of adults and one-fifth of adolescents between the ages of 2 and 19 qualified as obese. Additionally, most Americans get too much sodium, and about 38 million American adults attest to frequent alcoholic binge drinking.