Chronic diseases, including heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes, rank among the most common, costly, and preventable of all health problems throughout the United States. The 5 leading causes of death in Snohomish County in 2010 were heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic obstructive lower respiratory disease, and unintentional injury.
According to the CDC, nearly 1 out of every 2 adults has at least 1 chronic illness.
Preventing Chronic Diseases
Many choices that you make every day can help prevent chronic disease. The following steps will help lower your risks:
- Eating healthy food such as fruits, vegetables and lean proteins
- Avoiding soda and other sugary beverages
- Limiting portion sizes
- Being physically active every day, walking and yard work count
- Living tobacco-free
- Sleeping 8 hours per night
- Avoiding excessive alcohol consumption
- Maintaining a healthy weight
Access to high-quality and affordable prevention measures, including screening and appropriate follow-up care, are also essential steps in disease prevention. For example, regular cancer screenings can diagnose new cases of cancer at an early stage, which may improve the prognosis of the patient.
Healthy Communities Play an Important Role
Chronic disease isn't just about individual choices. We know that healthy environments and access to healthy, or unhealthy, food makes a big difference in personal health. Snohomish Health District partners with communities and organizations through our Healthy Communities program to help reduce chronic disease in the county.