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what does chronic mean

A chronic condition is a human health condition or disease that is persistent or otherwise long-lasting in its effects or a disease that comes with time. The term chronic is often applied when the course of the disease lasts for more than three months. Common chronic diseases include arthritis, asthma, cancer, COPD, diabetes and viral diseases such as hepatitis C and HIV/AIDS.

In medicine, the opposite of chronic is acute. A chronic course is further distinguished from a recurrent course; recurrent diseases relapse repeatedly, with periods of remission in between.

The non-communicable diseases are also usually lasting medical conditions but are separated by their non-infectious causes. In contrast, some chronic diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, are caused by transmissible infections.

In the United States 25% of adults have at least two chronic conditions. Chronic diseases constitute a major cause of mortality, with the World Health Organization (WHO) attributing 38 million deaths a year to non-communicable diseases