Prevention and treatment of chronic disease has emerged as a leading focus of public health efforts across the country. This report provides a glimpse of the alarming obesity epidemic and burden of chronic diseases and their combined impact on the well-being of residents of Massachusetts, as well as the health care system and economy of the Commonwealth.

This information links the rapidly rising rates of chronic diseases to associated risk factors such as poor nutrition, lack of physical activity, poor air quality, and exposure to tobacco. This report also reveals a gap in the state's ability to systematically monitor the impact of many of the chronic diseases on specific ethnic minority groups, including Asians and American Indians, and people with mental and physical disabilities.

In this chapter

Topics covered in Chapter 7 include: Obesity - Asthma - Diabetes - Heart Disease and Stroke - Cancer - Oral Health - Health-Related Quality of Life - Mental Health - Special Note on American Indian Health - Our Aging Population - Policy Perspective by Stuart Chipkin, MD, Research Professor, University of Massachusetts, Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences; Endocrinologist and Director, Diabetes Management Program, Valley Medical Group

For more data or information on topics in Chapter 7

List of figures and tables

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This information is provided by the Department of Public Health.