LONG TERM CONDITIONS
Chronic Disease is a long-term condition that can be controlled but not cured. Although chronic diseases are among the most common and costly health problems, they are also among the most preventable and most can be effectively controlled.
Chronic Disease Management
According to RCGP, "Chronic disease management comprises any medical or pharmaceutical intervention designed to improve both outcomes for the patient and cost effectiveness. It recognises that a systematic approach is an optimal and cost-effective way of providing healthcare."
Chronic disease places a huge burden on NHS resources. Those with chronic conditions are significantly more likely to see their GP, to be admitted as inpatients, and to use more inpatient days than those without such conditions.
Below is the information related to some of the chronic illnesses.
Asthma is a common long-term condition caused by inflammation of the airways, that can cause a cough, wheezing, and breathlessness. The severity of the symptoms varies from person to person. Asthma can be controlled well in most people most of the time.
Cancer is a condition where cells in a specific part of the body grow and reproduce uncontrollably. The cancerous cells can invade and destroy surrounding healthy tissue, including organs.
Coronary Heart Disease (CHD)
Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the UK's biggest killer, causing around 82,000 deaths each year. About one in five men and one in eight women die from the disease. In the UK, there are an estimated 2.7m people living with the condition and 2m people affected by angina (the most common symptom of coronary heart disease).
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
COPD stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It is the name used to describe a number of conditions, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema, where people have difficulty breathing because of long-term damage to their lungs. It is thought there are over 3 million people living with the disease in the UK, of which only about 900,000 have been diagnosed.
Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person's blood sugar level to become too high.The two main types of diabetes are:
- type 1 diabetes
- type 2 diabetes
In the UK, diabetes affects approximately 2.9 million people. There are also thought to be around 850,000 people with undiagnosed diabetes..
Mental health describes a level of psychological well-being, or an absence of a mental disorder. One in four people in the UK have a mental health problem at some point in their lives, which affects their daily life, relationships or physical health.
Mental health disorders take many different forms and affect people in different ways. Schizophrenia, depression and personality disorders are all examples of mental health problems. Diseases such as Alzheimer's and dementia generally develop in old age, whereas eating disorders are more common in young people.
- NHS Choices - Mental Health
- Mental health helplines
- Mental Health Foundation
- Mental health | Talk about mental illness | Time To Change
- Alzheimer’s Society
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It usually develops gradually, over time. Several different joints can be affected, but osteoarthritis is most frequently seen in the hands, knees, hips, feet and spine.
The GP and use of NHS services dedicated to pain management can help make sufferers more independent, reduce the severity of pain and assist in day to day coping with what can be a debilitating condition.
- NHS Choices - Living with pain
- NHS Choices - Back Pain
- NHS Choices - Complex regional pain syndrome
- British Pain Society: people with pain
A stroke happens when the blood supply to part of your brain is cut off, causing your brain cells to become damaged or die. The two most common types of stroke are ischaemic and haemorrhagic stroke.
- Ischaemic strokes: Happen when the artery that supplies blood to your brain is blocked, for example by a blood clot.
- Haemorrhagic strokes:Happen when a blood vessel bursts and bleeds into your brain, damaging brain tissue and starving some of your brain cells of blood and oxygen..
All the links on this page come from trusted resources but if you are unsure about these or any other medical matters please contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.