A medical condition broadly includes all diseases, lesions, and disorders. Medical conditions vary greatly in their impact on life expectancy. Well-controlled hypertension may have a negligible impact, while more serious medical conditions, such as cancer, can greatly impact life expectancy. While all the various general medical conditions impacting life expectancy are simply too numerous to list here, a few examples of general medical conditions can be found below:
The No. 1 killer of Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is heart disease. Coronary artery disease, heart attack, and congestive heart failure are conditions that all carry elevated mortality rates.
Coronary artery disease is a chronic condition that occurs as one or more of the coronary arteries become partially obstructed by atherosclerotic plaques. If the coronary arteries are occluded, the supply to the heart becomes insufficient and the cardiac output cannot increase to satisfy the need in blood and oxygen of the tissues. When a coronary vessel becomes completely occluded by a clot, the area supplied by this particular vessel is deprived of blood and oxygen. The muscle cells rapidly die and a necrosis occurs in this territory: this is myocardial infarction (heart attack). The short and long-term prognosis of a myocardial infarction depends on the size of the necrotic area. Congestive heart failure (CHF), develops when your ventricles cannot pump blood in sufficient volume. Blood and other fluids back up inside your lungs, abdomen, liver, and lower body. This may happen when the heart muscle itself is weaker than normal or when there is a defect in the heart that prevents blood from getting out into the circulation.
According to the American Cancer Society, Cancer is the second most common cause of death in the US and accounts for nearly 1 of every 4 deaths. Life expectancy in cancer varies greatly depending on the type of cancer and the stage of progression at which it is found. Cancer is a class of diseases characterized by out-of-control cell growth. There are over 100 different types of cancer, and each is classified by the type of cell that is initially affected. Cancer harms the body when altered cells divide uncontrollably to form lumps or masses of tissue called tumors. Tumors can grow and interfere with the digestive, nervous, and circulatory systems, and they can release hormones that alter body function. Tumors that stay in one spot and demonstrate limited growth are generally considered to be benign. Cancerous tumors are malignant, which means they can spread into, or invade, nearby tissues. In addition, as these grow, some cancer cells can break off and travel to distant places in the body through the blood or the lymph system and form new tumors far from the original tumor. When a tumor successfully spreads to other parts of the body and grows, invading and destroying other healthy tissues, it is said to have metastasized. Metastatic cancer is typically associated with very high mortality rates.
Smoking & COPD
Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable death. Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body. Cigarette smoking causes 87 percent of lung cancer deaths. In the United States about 500,000 deaths per year are attributed to smoking-related diseases. Among the disease that can be caused by smoking are vascular stenosis, lung cancer, heart attacks, chronic obstruct pulmonary disease (COPD), stroke, and cataracts.
COPD is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs. Symptoms include breathing difficulty, cough, sputum production and wheezing. The disease is increasingly common, affecting millions of Americans, and is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are the two most common conditions that contribute to COPD. Chronic bronchitis is inflammation of the lining of the bronchial tubes, which carry air to and from the air sacs (alveoli) of the lungs. Emphysema is a condition in which the air sacs (alveoli) at the end of the smallest air passages (bronchioles) of the lungs are destroyed as a result of damaging exposure.
Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disease characterized by high glucose (sugar) levels in the blood. Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, regulates the amount of glucose in the blood. In patients with diabetes, the body either does not produce enough insulin, or does not adequately respond to the insulin it is producing, which causes blood sugar levels to be higher than normal. Higher blood sugars over a period of time allow diabetic complications to set in, such as: diabetic retinopathy, kidney disease, and cardiovascular disease (heart disease). Higher blood sugars can often be accompanied by associated conditions such as higher blood pressure and high cholesterol. Both help to contribute to poor circulation and further the damage to organs such as the heart, kidneys, eyes and nerves in particular.
Liver cirrhosis is a condition in which the liver slowly deteriorates and is unable to function normally due to chronic, or long lasting, injury. Scar tissue replaces healthy liver tissue and partially blocks the flow of blood through the liver. In the early stages of cirrhosis, the liver continues to function. However, as cirrhosis gets worse and scar tissue replaces more healthy tissue, the liver will begin to fail. Chronic liver failure, which is also called end-stage liver disease, progresses over months, years, or even decades. With end-stage liver disease, the liver can no longer perform important functions or effectively replace damaged cells. Then most common causes of cirrhosis are chronic hepatitis B or C, alcohol-related liver disease, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Less common causes of cirrhosis include autoimmune hepatitis, diseases that damage, destroy, or block the bile ducts, inherited diseases that affect the liver and rare viral infections of the liver. Cirrhosis is the 12th leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for nearly 32,000 deaths each year.