The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that most chronic diseases can be prevented by changing risk-related behaviors. These behaviors include poor nutrition, physical inactivity, smoking tobacco and excessive alcohol use. Though people are predisposed to many chronic illnesses because of genetics, age, gender or race, there are lifestyle changes you can make to decrease your chances of being affected.
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Millions of people are affected by type two diabetes, but many individuals are unaware they have it, according to the American Diabetes Association. Type 2 diabetes is when your body does not produce enough insulin or cannot use the insulin efficiently enough. This results in high blood sugar, since insulin is responsible for breaking down sugar to use for energy in the body. Diabetes can lead to long-term complications like kidney disease, blindness and poor wound healing. The risk factors for diabetes include being overweight, not eating a healthy diet and physical inactivity.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, according to the American Lung Association, is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. This illness consists of different problems that make it difficult to breathe, including conditions such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis. People with COPD experience shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing. Though treatable, breathing problems can decrease someone’s quality of life and can be devastating. The prevention of COPD includes smoking cessation and avoiding secondhand smoke.
Coronary Artery Disease
The leading cause of death in the United States is coronary artery disease, which kills half a million Americans every year, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Risk factors for coronary artery disease that you cannot change are genetics, gender or race. You can reduce major risk factors, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes, by taking your medications properly and monitoring your condition. Staying within the normal weight range for your height and weight and participating in regular physical activity will also help to decrease your risk for coronary artery disease.