What is a Chronic Disease ?

Chronic disease is a human health condition or disease that is persistent or otherwise long-lasting in its effects or a disease that comes with time. Diabetes, Cardiovascular diseases(CVDs), chronic hypertension, PCOS/PCOD are some of the commonly seen chronic diseases. Around 75% of the elderly in India suffer from one or the other chronic disease, 40% have a disability and 20% go through issues related to mental health.

Diabetes
Diabetes is a disease that occurs when blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high over a prolonged period of time.A blood sugar level less than 140 mg/dL is normal. A reading of more than 200 mg/dL after two hours indicates diabetes. A reading between 140 and 199 mg/dL indicates prediabetes.

How does it happen?

Most of the food we eat is broken down into sugar (also called glucose) and released into our bloodstream. When the blood sugar goes up, it signals pancreas to release insulin. Insulin acts like a key to let the blood sugar into the body's cells for use as energy. When someone has diabetes their body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use the insulin it makes as well as it should. This leads to glucose not being absorbed properly by the body cells that require it, and not being stored appropriately in the liver and muscles. The net effect being persistent high levels of blood glucose. There are three main types of diabetes – Type 1, Type 2, and Gestational.

 

Cardiovascular diseases(CVDs)
Cardiovascular diseases are a group of disorders of the heart and blood vessels. Heart attacks and strokes are usually acute events and are mainly caused by a blockage that prevents blood from flowing to the heart or brain. According to a study, Overall in India, the self-reported prevalence of diagnosed cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) is 28% among older adults aged 45 and above. The prevalence of CVDs increases with age from 22% among those in age 45-59 to 34% among those in age 60-74, and further to 37% among those age 75 and above.

How does it happen?

The most common reason is a build-up of fatty deposits on the inner walls of the blood vessels that supply the heart or brain. Strokes can also be caused by bleeding from a blood vessel in the brain or from blood clots. The cause of heart attacks and strokes are usually the presence of a combination of risk factors, such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet and obesity, physical inactivity and harmful use of alcohol, hypertension, diabetes and hyperlipidaemia.
 

Hypertension
High blood pressure, or hypertension, occurs when a person’s blood pressure increases to unhealthy levels.A normal blood pressure level is less than 120/80 mmHg.

How does it happen?

Blood pressure is the force that a person’s blood exerts against the walls of their blood vessels. This pressure depends on the resistance of the blood vessels and how hard the heart has to work. Narrow arteries increase resistance. Over the long term, increased pressure can cause health issues, including heart disease. There are 4 types of hypertension- Primary Hypertension (also known as Essential Hypertension), Secondary Hypertension,Malignant Hypertension, Resistant Hypertension

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