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Chronic Disease

man and two children on bikesAmericans are living longer, but chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer are taking a growing toll on our health.

Yet this leading cause of death is also one of the most preventable. Public health aims to help reduce people's risk factors by promoting physical activity, improving access to healthy, affordable foods and expanding science-based ways to kick the tobacco habit.

Healthy community design is one proven strategy to help prevent chronic disease. APHA supported the Partnerships to Improve Community Health, a three-year CDC initiative focusing on evidence-based strategies to improve the health of communities and reduce the prevalence of chronic disease.

APHA worked with the American Planning Association to support and implement the Plan4Health project (funded through PICH). APHA Affiliates collaborated with APA Chapters to address physical activity and nutritious eating at the local level – the nontraditional, cross-sector partnership is helping to embed the culture of health in planning.

We also support the Helping Ensure Life- and Limb-Saving Access to Podiatric Physicians Act, which would help to improve coordination of care for Medicare’s Therapeutic Shoe Program for patients with diabetes.

The Prevention and Public Health Fund supports federal programs that are essential for diabetes prevention, including the National Diabetes Prevention Program, Diabetes Self-Management Education, State and Local Public Health Actions Program.

More About Chronic Disease smiling boy holding apple

U.S. Health Rankings Released, Hawaii ranked highest (The Nation's Health cover story)

Physical Inactivity Among Adults Aged 50 Years and Older — United States, 2014 (MMWR)

Halted progress against diabetes, other diseases linked to rise in deaths among middle-aged whites (The Commonwealth Fund)

Chronic Disease Drives Costs (PDF)

Building Healthier Communities

Tobacco Prevention and Control

More Chronic Disease Resources 

America's Health Rankings

A Practitioner’s Guide for Advancing Health Equity: Community Strategies for Chronic Disease Prevention (PDF)