Overview

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.

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

45 indicators have been selected to monitor progress against the NSFCC’s Objectives

1 in 5 people (20%) had 2 or more selected chronic conditions in 2017–18

Selected chronic conditions account for more than a third of the total burden of disease and injury in Australia, 2018

The rate of potentially avoidable deaths from selected chronic conditions more than halved over the last 20 years

The AIHW manages the National Centre for Monitoring Chronic Conditions (NCMCC) to provide a ‘bigger picture’ of chronic conditions in Australia.

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