Division of Community Health Promotion
Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention
Chronic Disease Definition
Chronic diseases have a long course of illness. They rarely resolve spontaneously and they are generally not cured by medication or prevented by vaccine. Chronic diseases—such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes—account for 7 of every 10 deaths and affect the quality of life of 90 million Americans. Chronic disabling conditions cause major limitations in activity for more than 1 of every 10 Americans or 25 million people. Although chronic diseases are among the most common and costly health problems, they are also among the most preventable. Adopting healthy behaviors such as eating nutritious foods, being physically active, and avoiding tobacco use can prevent or control the devastating effects of these diseases.
Overview of the Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention
Chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes are among the most prevalent, costly, and preventable of all health problems. In Florida, almost one of every three deaths is due to heart disease, and almost one of every four deaths is due to cancer. However, consideration of deaths alone severely understates the burden of chronic disease. The prolonged course of illness and disability from chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes results in extended pain and suffering as well as in decreased quality of life for thousands of Floridians. Our state cannot reduce its enormous health care costs, much less its priority health problems, without addressing the prevention of chronic disease in a fundamentally more aggressive manner.
Established in March 1998, the Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention has expanded its capacity to provide a comprehensive approach to preventing, detecting, and reducing complications of chronic diseases in Florida. The bureau currently houses the following programs: Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, Diabetes Prevention and Control, Comprehensive Cancer Control, Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection, Colorectal Cancer Control, and Epilepsy.
The Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention strives to be a leader in developing a unified statewide system to prevent, detect, and reduce complications of chronic diseases. Toward that end, the bureau collaborates with public, private, and voluntary organizations; establishes and participates in councils and partnerships; and obtains funding for planning and program development. The bureau is responsible for assessing the status of chronic diseases in the state and the adequacy of resources available for prevention, health promotion, and education. The bureau develops policies and recommends and reviews legislation. The various programs within the bureau provide education and technical assistance, conduct monitoring of funded programs, and participate in the county health department quality improvement review process.