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What does the word chronic mean?

Many people when the hear the word chronic think it means serious. The term chronic means to last a long time. A chronic condition or disease is one that does not go away or takes a long time to go away. Mild medical conditions can be chronic if they last a long time. In comparison an acute disease is one that comes on quickly or lasts a short period of time. A chronic condition can also be acute if it comes on quickly. An example of this would be to damage a joint in an accident that causes inflammation of a joint. This would be acute arthritis. If the arthritis in that joint lasts after the surrounding area is healed then it would be chronic.

Examples of chronic diseases are arthritis, heart disease, kidney disease and diabetes. Most forms of chronic diseases develop over a longer period of time such as heart disease. Some forms of chronic diseases can come on quickly such as kidney disease.

A chronic disease can also last a shorter period of time if it last longer than the condition normally lasts. An example is a chronic infection. Most infections when treated only lasts a few days. If the infection resists treatment and takes weeks to go away under treatment then it is a chronic infection.






This web site is intended for your own informational purposes only. No person or entity associated with this web site purports to be engaging in the practice of medicine through this medium. The information you receive is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a physician or other health care professional. If you have an illness or medical problem, contact your health care provider.

Arthritis can develop as a result of an infection. For example, bacteria that cause gonorrhea or Lyme disease can cause arthritis. Infectious arthritis can cause serious damage, but usually clears up completely with antibiotics. Scleroderma is a systemic disease that involves the skin, but may include problems with blood vessels, joints, and internal organs. Fibromyalgia syndrome is soft-tissue rheumatism that doesn't lead to joint deformity, but affects an estimated 5 million Americans, mostly women. The approximate number of cases in the United States of some common forms of arthritis. is an informational out reach of the Consumer Health Information Network. It is our goal to provide up to date information about arthritis and other inflammatory and bone conditions in a easy to understand format.

Where we get our information.

Most of the information in the site is compiled by editors from information provided by the National Institutes of Health. We are in the process of updating our pages. In the past we have not made reference to the source for information provide by our editors. In the next few weeks we hope to have all our pages marked as to the source.

We have included information from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Pages that uses information from this source are so acknowledged.

We have contributing authors that send information. Where information is provided by an outside author it is acknowledged by a byline under the title.

Updates of Pages.

Not all of our pages have a date as to the last update. We are in the processes of reviewing all our pages and as we do we include a reference as to when the page was updated. This web site was first published in January of 2003. All pages in the site were created at sometime during or after that time.