'Chronicity' and chronic health conditions: implications for health and health care

Chronic
diseases are diseases that persist over time and include both the traditionally
identified non-communicable diseases (cardiovascular and metabolic disease and
cancers) and infectious diseases which require long term management or serial
treatment of acute episodes.

Recent technological
and pharmaceutical advances have supported better diagnosis and long term
management of chronic diseases but come at a massive cost to individuals and to
health systems, especially in lower and
middle income countries with poor health care infrastructures and a
persistent burden of infectious diseases. Further, chronic diseases can have
major implications for both the affected persons and their families due to a
requirement for major changes in lifestyle for prevention and management.

The concept of ‘chronicity’ provides a framework for understanding the
implications of chronic health conditions for the affected person, their
families and for health systems. Globalization and Health has
recently published its first article in a series
exploring the value of ‘chronicity’ as a concept in the management of chronic
health conditions in a global health context. The article by Ronald
Labonte et al.
looks at the role that trade and
financial liberalization has played in increasing the global diffusion of risk
factors for chronic disease. The findings
summarized in the article imply the need for a more
concerted approach to regulate trade-related risk factors and thus more engagement between
health and trade policy sectors within and between nations.

 New articles
will be added to the series soon; you can sign up to receive article alerts when
they are published.

Topics:

Health

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