With important advances in medicine and public health and overall increases in average life expectancy in the developed and developing world in the 20th century, chronic diseases have now reached epidemic proportions globally. This entry provides an overview of factors that have contributed to the worldwide emergence of chronic diseases; describes the epidemiology of the major chronic diseases of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes; and highlights some of the core epidemiologic and statistical methods for studying chronic diseases.

Global Emergence of Chronic Diseases

In industrialized countries, the latter half of the 20th century bore witness to the emergence of chronic diseases as major contributors to morbidity and mortality. In recent years, similar patterns have been taking place in the developing world. These trends are largely due ...

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