Chronic (medical)

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]


In medicine, a chronic disease is a disease that is long-lasting or recurrent. The term chronic describes the course of the disease, or its rate of onset and development. A chronic course is distinguished from a recurrent course; recurrent diseases relapse repeatedly, with periods of remission in between. As an adjective, chronic can refer to a persistent and lasting medical condition. Chronicity is usually applied to a condition that lasts more than three months.

Chronic Disease

The definition of a disease or causative condition may depend on the disease being chronic, and the term chronic will often, but not always appear in the description:


Many chronic diseases require chronic care management for effective long-term treatment.

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