Chronic diseases persist for a long time and require ongoing medical attention or limit activities of daily living or both. Chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis are the leading causes of death and disability
in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate chronic diseases cost $213.8 billion a year to our health care system and causing $137.4 billion in lost productivity from premature death alone. Leading
risk factors for chronic disease include high blood pressure, high low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, diabetes, smoking and secondhand smoke exposure, obesity, unhealthy diet, and physical inactivity.
Injury also poses a threat to a person’s health in the form of death, disability and financial burden. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, injuries send one in ten persons to emergencies departments each year. It
is the leading cause of death of children and young adults in the first four decades of life. Unintentional injuries and intentional injuries are largely preventable.