Chronic diseases are long lasting conditions with persistent effects. Their social and economic consequences can impact on peoples’ quality of life. Chronic conditions are becoming increasingly common and are a priority for action in the health sector.

Many people with chronic conditions do not have a single, predominant condition, but rather they experience multimorbidity—the presence of 2 or more chronic conditions in a person at the same time.

AIHW commonly reports on 10 major chronic condition groups: arthritis, asthma, back pain, cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, mental health conditions and osteoporosis.

These chronic conditions were selected for reporting because they are common, pose significant health problems, have been the focus of ongoing AIHW surveillance efforts and, in many instances, action can be taken to prevent their occurrence.

More reports and statistics on chronic disease can be found under Burden of disease, Biomedical risk factors and Life expectancy & deaths.

Featured reports

Latest findings

Most illnesses and deaths in Australia are caused by chronic conditions

The NSFCC: reporting framework provides the signposts needed to measure chronic condition prevention and control

Chronic conditions, and their prevention and management, are of significant policy interest

Potentially avoidable deaths from selected chronic conditions accounted for a third of all deaths for people <75

In 2017–18, 46% of all potentially preventable hospitalisations were for relevant chronic conditions

In 2018, more than a third (37%) of fatal burden was due to selected chronic conditions