What Are the Top 10 Chronic Diseases in the United States Today?

The top 10 death-causing chronic diseases in the United States as of 2012 included heart disease, cancer, respiratory disease, Alzheimer’s and diabetes, states CNNhealth.com. Additional conditions in the list were kidney disease, mental illness, liver disease, hypertension and Parkinson’s.

As of 2012, these chronic diseases accounted for 10 of the 15 leading causes of death in the United States, according to CNNhealth.com. Half of U.S. adults suffered from one or more chronic diseases, while heart disease and cancer alone accounted for nearly half of all annual deaths, according to the CDC. Furthermore, arthritis and diabetes are two leading causes of disability. Taking all of that into account, alongside the financial burden of chronic disease, and the CDC makes a compelling case for why individuals as well as businesses and government organizations must do more to prevent and address the impact of chronic disease on so many Americans.

Lack of physical activity, poor diet, tobacco use and alcohol abuse are the four factors that the CDC cites as major contributors to the prevalence of chronic diseases. While no habits can negate the risk of chronic diseases, preventative measures include avoiding tobacco, exercising for at least 30 minutes multiple times a week, avoiding overindulging in saturated fats, and getting plenty of fruits and vegetables, quality sleep and regular health checkups, according to the Mayo Clinic.