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Chronic Conditions

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Chronic health conditions are conditions that can be controlled but not cured. Living with a chronic condition can have a significant impact on a person's quality of life, as well as on their family and carers.

Common chronic conditions generally include the following:

  • arthritis a painful condition that affects the joints and bones  
  • asthma: a condition that causes inflammation (swelling) in the airways of the lungs
  • diabetes: a condition that is caused by too much glucose in the blood
  • epilepsy: a condition that causes repeated fits (seizures)
  • heart disease: when the heart's blood supply is blocked or interrupted
  • multiple sclerosis: a condition of the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord)

There are approximately 15.4 million people in England with at least one long-term condition and it is thought many more are not yet diagnosed. Three out of every five people aged over 60 in England suffer from a long-term condition, and as the population ages, this proportion is likely to rise.

Experiencing a life threatening event or being diagnosed with a long term condition can be frightening and a worrying time for both you, your family and friends. For some, especially older people and those who have more than one condition discomfort and stress is an everyday reality. Chronic disease by its very nature can last a lifetime. It becomes a part of an individual’s life, affecting the way they suffer with other medical conditions and impacting on their family and friends

Fortunately, there is now an increasing amount of evidence suggesting that people with long term conditions can significantly improve their quality of life and reduce the risk of future episodes. Previously many people believed that exercising was detrimental to people with chronic conditions. However we now know that increasing your physical activity levels can significantly help with disease management and increase the chances of living longer.

There are now an increasing number of services provided for patients with long term conditions and therefore you should ask your local health professional which ones are available and appropriate for you.

There are now an increasing number of services provided for patients with long term conditions and therefore you should askyour local health professional which ones are available and appropriate for you.