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Chronic disease management

Understanding chronic diseases and their impacts

You may have heard the term “chronic disease”. You or a loved one may even be living with one. Let us help simplify what it means and where you can go for support to live well.

What are chronic diseases?

Chronic diseases are becoming more common. They can be defined as ongoing, long-term health conditions that progress over time. They differ from acute disease, such as the flu or a common cold which can come on quickly but only last a short period of time. Over time, a chronic disease can worsen, impacting your daily activities. Many chronic diseases are often manageable with the right treatments and lifestyle choices.1

Understanding chronic diseases and their impacts

You may have heard the term “chronic disease”. You or a loved one may even be living with one. Let us help simplify what it means and where you can go for support to live well.

What are chronic diseases?

Chronic diseases are becoming more common. They can be defined as ongoing, long-term health conditions that progress over time. They differ from acute disease, such as the flu or a common cold which can come on quickly but only last a short period of time. Over time a chronic disease can worsen, impacting your daily activities. Although many are incurable, they are often manageable with the right treatment and lifestyle choices.

44% of adults over age 20 have at least one chronic condition.2

According to the 2020 Sanofi Canada Healthcare Survey, 38% of people report their chronic condition has caused them to miss work or made it harder to do their job.3

67% of all direct health care costs in Canada are related to treatment of chronic disease.4

Three of the most common types of chronic disease

Steps to help prevent chronic disease

Certain unhealthy lifestyle habits can increase your risk of developing a chronic disease.5 Learn about simple changes you can make in your daily routine to help lower your risk and prevent chronic disease.

1

Healthier
eating.

Unlock Food | Dietitians of Canada

Learn how to build better eating habits.

2

Moving
more.

Prescription to Get Active

Kick start your fitness goals with a Prescription to Get Active.

3

Quitting
smoking.

Programs to help you quit | Government of Canada

Get the support you need to quit with these national and provincial supports.

4

Reducing alcohol intake.

Drink Sense Alberta

Visit Drink Sense Alberta for information on the impacts of alcohol on your body and tips to help cut back. 85 per cent of Albertans stay within Canada’s low-risk drinking guidelines. Want to find out where you fit?

Take the quiz.

5

Managing and reducing stress.

Canadian Mental Health Association

Learn more about stress and its effects on the body.

Lifestyle can make a difference in preventing as well as managing chronic disease.

Learn more about lifestyle management

Living with and managing a chronic disease

If you have been diagnosed with a chronic disease, there are still many things you can do to help manage it.

Chronic disease management

Chronic disease management includes the care, knowledge, skills and resources needed to better manage your chronic disease6. It can begin with finding a primary care provider, such as a family doctor or involve other health care providers, community-based programs or referrals to specialist programs and services that support your health.

We understand managing a chronic disease or accessing the right care at the right time is not always easy. To help guide Albertans and Alberta Blue Cross® plan members, the following includes a list of available resources.

Did you know?

Pharmacists are one of the most accessible health care professionals who have expanded their roles to help promote health. Not only do they ensure your medication is safe and effective for you, they can also improve your access to care by renewing your medication or providing vaccinations. They’re a great resource for support, guidance and education.

Locate a pharmacy near you

Public resources

Find a doctor | Alberta Primary Care Networks

Learn more about primary care (such as the importance of having a family physician) and other health care resources and supports.

Alberta Healthy Living Program

Information, education and support to those living with a chronic disease.

Health workshops | Alberta Primary Care Networks

Health workshops and services to help you better manage your physical and mental health.

Alberta Blue Cross® heart disease information

Find resources, support and benefit information for heart disease.

Alberta Blue Cross® diabetes information

Find resources, support and benefit information for diabetes.

Alberta Blue Cross® mental health information

Find resources, support and benefit information for mental health.

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All information, content, and material contained on this website (including links to other third-party websites) is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute medical or other professional advice on any subject matter, or for any individual case or situation. Nothing on this website is intended to substitute for the advice of a qualified medical professional, and you should not act, or refrain from acting, on the basis of any content included on this website. If you require medical advice, you are advised to consult a qualified medical professional.

[1] Public Health Agency of Canada. Prevalence of Chronic Diseases Among Canadian Adults. Available at: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/chronic-diseases/prevalence-canadian-adults-infographic-2019.html.

[2] Public Health Agency of Canada. Prevalence of Chronic Diseases Among Canadian Adults. Available at: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/chronic-diseases/prevalence-canadian-adults-infographic-2019.html.

[3] Sanofi Canada. 2020 The Sanofi Canada Healthcare Survey. Available at: https://www.sanofi.ca/-/media/Project/One-Sanofi-Web/Websites/North-America/Sanofi-CA/Home/en/Products-and-Resources/sanofi-canada-health-survey/sanofi-canada-healthcare-survey-2020-EN.pdf?la=en&hash= F1C763AA6B2F32C0BF2E623851FD05FD.

[4] 2017. The Public Health Agency of Canada. The Economic Burden of Illness in Canada, 2010. Available at: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/science-research-data/economic-burden-illness-canada-2010.html.

[5] Walter C. Willett, Jeffrey P. Koplan, Rachel Nugent, Courtenay Dusenbury, Pekka Puska, and Thomas A. Disease Control Priorities in Developing Countries 2nd edition. Gaziano. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK11795/.

[6] Canadian Pharmacists Association. Wellness and Chronic Diseases Management Services. Available at: https://www.pharmacists.ca/advocacy/advocacy-government-relations-initiatives/value-for-services/wellness-services/.