Chronic Diseases in Arizona

May 9, 2023

A condition that lasts a year or more and requires ongoing medical attention and/or limits daily life activities is called chronic disease. Such diseases include cardiovascular diseases, stroke, cancers, depression, diabetes, arthritis etc. Chronic diseases like cancer, heart problems and diabetes are the leading causes of disabilities and deaths in United States. 

Risk factors:

Many chronic diseases are caused by, Tobacco use including and exposure to secondhand smoke, lack of physical activity, poor nutrition like high intake of saturated fats and sodium and/or low intake of fruits and vegetables, excessive alcohol use, raised blood pressure or hypertension, raised cholesterol, overweight/obesity.

Chronic diseases in Arizona:

In Arizona the chronic diseases are responsible for 7 in 10 deaths every year with heart diseases being the leading cause of death. Diseases like cancer, stroke, heart diseases, asthma and diabetes are among the most common, costly, and preventable chronic diseases in the state of Arizona. . In adult Arizonans the cancer, heart disease, and stroke are the top causes of death with heart disease being the number one killer. Annually about 10,000 Arizonans die because of heart disease and more than 50,000 get hospitalized. The Arizona counties that have the highest rate of heart diseases are Maricopa, Mohave and Cochise. Many Arizonans have to drive hundreds of miles to get specialized care. Another leading cause of death in cancer. More than 2700 Arizonans are diagnosed with new cancer every month and more than 1000 Arizonans die every month due to cancer. Stroke also claims the lives of thousands of Arizonans every year. Yavapai, Navajo and Greenlee counties have the highest rates of mortality due to stroke. Major causes of these chronic disease in Arizona are the high blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking. More than 30% of Arizonans reported that they have been informed by their providers that they have high blood pressure. In 2019, more than 20% high school kids in Arizona reported smoking tobacco including cigarettes and e-cigarettes and 14.9% of adult Arizonans reported tobacco smoking. Each year more than 8000 adult Arizonans die because of smoking related diseases. 

For details of heart disease and stroke check: ,

For details of cancer in Arizona check: 

Find details regarding smoking in Arizona at: 

Prevention of chronic diseases:

The likely hood of getting a chronic disease can be reduced by making healthy choices like,

  • Quit smoking
  • Eat healthy
  • Get regular physical activity
  • Avoid drinking too much alcohol
  • Get screened
  • Take care of your teeth
  • Get enough sleep
  • Know your family history
  • Make healthy choices in school and at work 

 Management programs:

Arizona Department of Economic Security offers chronic disease self-management programs and workshops. Find details at:

Arizona Department of Health Services (AZDHS) provides support and information for managing chronic diseases at: 

The AZDHS also offers the Arizona Chronic Disease State Strategic Plan which is designed to address prevention and control of chronic diseases. Find details at: