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Chronic Diseases

Six in 10 adults in the U.S. have a chronic disease, and four in 10 have two or more.

Chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease and cancer, require ongoing medical attention and are the leading drivers of the nation’s health care costs.


The national diabetes rate has grown significantly throughout the last 35 years. Between 1980 and 2014, the number of Americans diagnosed with diabetes increased fourfold from 5.5 million to 22 million, with every state having at least 5% of the age-adjusted adult population afflicted with diabetes. According to the Diabetes Advocacy Alliance, by 2025, 53.1 million Americans will have diabetes — a 63% increase from the number with diabetes today.

Heart Disease

Heart disease is commonly misconstrued as a men’s health issue, but for the last 30 years it has killed more women than men in the U.S. In fact, heart disease causes one out of every three deaths among women every year, which is more than all forms of cancer combined. It is estimated that 43 million women in the U.S. (27%) are affected by heart disease and 90% of all women have at least one risk factor for developing the disease.


With an estimated annual price tag of $117 billion and severe health consequences, obesity is a growing problem in the U.S. and Missouri. In 2014, Missouri was ranked among the top 20 most obese states in the country. And, recent research estimates that more than 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. are obese, as signaled by a body mass index of 30 or higher.


With 6.8 million annual visits nationally, respiratory system disorders are second only to injury and poisoning as the primary cause of pediatric emergency department visits. Asthma is the most commonly diagnosed chronic condition for pediatric patients in hospital settings in Missouri. Throughout fiscal year 2014, more than 304,000 Missouri children ages 0 to 17 were treated in a hospital, with more than 847,000 encounters. More than 27,000 — 9% of these children — were diagnosed with asthma during the year.

Contact An Expert

Alison Williams

Alison Williams

Vice President of Clinical Quality Improvement

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573-893-3700 | ext. 1326

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