A chronic disease is one that lasts for three months or more, and can impact your well-being. Half of Americans are living with at least one chronic condition – like depression, high blood pressure, asthma, heart disease, high cholesterol or diabetes. Chronic diseases are a leading cause of disability in the U.S. and lead to seven out of every 10 deaths each year.
At LVHN, we help educate our patients about how to reduce their chance of developing a chronic disease. We also provide continuity care for you if you are managing a chronic illness.
Preventing chronic diseases
You can prevent most chronic illnesses by making healthy choices that improve your quality of life. That’s why LVHN providers emphasize primary care and prevention. We encourage patients to adopt healthy lifestyle behaviors to minimize the impact of chronic disease. Important lifestyle choices include:
- Avoiding tobacco and using alcohol in moderation
- Healthy nutrition, which includes eating five or more servings of fresh fruits and vegetables daily, avoiding salt and saturated fats
- Daily physical activity. At least 20 minutes of activity each day is ideal.
- Getting enough quality sleep
Other preventive measures also are helpful in avoiding chronic disease, such as:
- Screening for common health conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes
- Screening for cancer, such as mammography for breast cancer, colonoscopy or stool testing for colorectal cancer, Pap smear for cervical cancer, computed tomography (CT) scan for lung cancer
- Immunization, including annual influenza vaccination
- Knowing your family’s health history, sharing it with your provider and taking steps to overcome family risk factors
Chronic diseases in the U.S.
The list of common chronic diseases in the United States is growing:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Diabetes and prediabetes
- Heart disease and stroke
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Tooth decay
Unique programs support patients with chronic disease
At LVHN, we bring together the brightest minds to care for every aspect of the patient. Our multidisciplinary teams use proven processes to diagnose, treat and manage chronic illnesses.
By focusing on the needs of patients, and their families, we provide hands-on help that enhances patient care and increases the likelihood that patients will follow through with prevention or treatment plans. LVHN primary care provides access to team-based care involving not only physicians, but also nurses, dietitians, pharmacologists, psychologists, and social workers. We provide this care in a model called Patient-Centered Medical Home, which means the team follows and helps to manage your healthcare needs even when you are not in the office being seen.