Course:PostgradFamilyPractice/ExamPrep/99 Priority Topics/Chronic Disease

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Chronic Disease - Key Features

1. In a patient with a diagnosed chronic disease who presents with acute symptoms, diagnose:
- acute complications of the chronic disease (e.g., diabetic ketoacidosis)
- acute exacerbations of the disease (e.g., asthma exacerbation, acute arthritis)
- a new, unrelated condition

2. Regularly reassess adherence (compliance) to the treatment plan (including medications). ‘’’’’

3. In patients with chronic disease:
a) Actively inquire about pain.
b) Treat appropriately by:

- titrating medication to the patient’s pain
- taking into account other treatments and conditions (e.g., watching for interactions)
- considering non-pharmacologic treatment and adjuvant therapies
Massage, physio, exercise, CBT, counselling, mindful meditation, reframing, OT home assessment (accommodate needs within limitations of pain/Dx)

4. In patients with chronic disease, actively inquire about: - the psychological impact of diagnosis and treatment. - functional impairment
- underlying depression or risk of suicide
- underlying substance abuse

5. Given a non-compliant patient, explore the reasons why, with a view to improving future adherence to the treatment plan.

Chronic Disease Risk Factors: What are the Primary Risk Factors?
According to the World Health Report 2002, the major risk factors include:

■ tobacco
■ alcohol
■ blood pressure
■ physical inactivity
■ cholesterol
■ overweight
■ unhealthy diet

Leading preventable cause of premature death in Canada.

Prevalence of smoking among adult men and women (>20 yo) is ↑ in northern/rural regions, and ↓ in British Columbia and most major urban centres.
Prevalence decreased from 1994 to 2005.
Highest among people aged 20-24.

High-risk alcohol use associated with ↑ risks of > 60 chronic conditions including cancer, GI d/o, neuro d/o, & cardiovascular disease (especially stroke).

↑ 1995 – 2005, 17% consume alcohol in hazardous manner. 28% youth aged 12-19 and 30% men & 12% women > 20 years reported drinking heavily.
20-24 yo highest prevalence of heavy drinking (consuming >5 drinks/occasion) - 56% among men and 33% of women. The prevalence ↓ with ↑’ing age.

Diet influences risk of developing cancer, coronary heart disease, stroke, HTN, DM and obesity → related to the risk of other chronic diseases.

Low consumption of fruits and vegetables (< 5 servings/day) was associated with lower income, and other unhealthy behaviours such as cigarette smoking.

Physical Inactivity
Physical inactivity impacts physical and mental health and well-being and is considered to be a primary risk factor for obesity.

Less than half of the Canadian population participates in the minimal amount of leisure time physical activity required to obtain the health benefits, including a lower risk of developing chronic disease, of a physically active lifestyle.
Levels of physical inactivity increase with age, particularly for ages >75. Women are more physically inactive (50%) than men (45%)

Obesity contributes to the development and exacerbation of major chronic diseases in Canada, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers (e.g., colon cancer) and osteoarthritis. The self-reported prevalence of obesity in 2005 for Canada was 17% for men and 15% for women. The longer one is obese, the greater the health risks and the greater the likelihood of premature death.

The prevalence of obesity has nearly doubled in adults and tripled in children and youth over the past 25 years.

In individuals, we can classify the risks factors as follows:

■Background risk factors, such as age, sex, level of education and genetic composition;
■Behavioural risk factors, such as smoking, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity; and
■Intermediate risk factors, such as serum cholesterol levels, diabetes, hypertension and obesity/overweight

In Communities, the main factors that can impact health include:

■Social and economic conditions, such as poverty, employment, family composition;
■Environment, such as climate, air pollution;
■Culture, such as practices, norms and values; and
■Urbanization, which influences housing, access to products and services.

As Primary Care Physicians Responsible for:

• Annual review of chronic disease progression
o Identify any target organ damage including: cerebrovascular disease, coronary heart disease (CHD), left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH), chronic kidney disease (CKD), peripheral vascular disease, neuropathy, and retinopathy.
• Monitoring BW and investigations
• Ensuring annual follow-up referrals are tracked and booked appropriately
• Annual CPX and immunizations are up to date (flu, pneumovax, shingles, Hep A/B, tetanus)

Study Guide

Chronic Disease


Public Health Agency of Canada: Chronic Disease Prevention and Control Guidelines

Public Health Agency of Canada: The Canadian Guide to Clinical Preventive Health Care