What are chronic diseases?

Chronic diseases refer to a group of diseases that includes cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, mental disorders and musculoskeletal disorders. These diseases reduce the quality of life of the person suffering from them, while cardiovascular disease and cancer are the two most common causes of death in Slovenia.

We can assess whether an individual is at an increased risk of developing these diseases on the basis of risk factors. The most important risk factors include those linked to unhealthy lifestyle: poor nutrition, insufficient exercise, smoking, risky and harmful alcohol consumption, and long-term exposure to stress. Elevated blood pressure, elevated lipid levels (cholesterol, triglycerides) in the blood and elevated blood sugar levels are also important contributing factors in the development of a chronic disease.  Excessive weight and obesity are also important risk factors. In order to prevent a chronic disease from developing, or delaying its onset for as long as possible, the risk factors for its development must be systematically identified and prevented. In order to identify a risk of developing a chronic disease and strengthen, maintain or improve your health, the Slovenian healthcare system has made a preventive programme available. It is called Together for Health.