Factors Contributing to Chronic Disease

50% of deaths can be prevented through behavioral lifestyle changes

Our healthcare system is in crisis. Chronic diseases are the #1 cause of premature death, yet many premature deaths can be prevented through behavior modification. While genetics, access to affordable care, and the environment also contribute to chronic disease, behavioral lifestyle choices outweigh all the other factors. In the United States, the leading causes of death and disability are heart disease, stroke, type II diabetes, obesity, cancer, and arthritis. 

Some stats:

  • One American dies of heart disease dies every 37 seconds
  • Diabetes rates rose 50% in the last 30 years and are expected to double by 2050
  • 1 in every 3 Americans meet the criteria for obesity

However, lifestyle changes such as moderate-intensity exercise 3 times a week,  strength training, reducing intake of salt, fat, sugar, and calories, and not smoking are ways to reduce the burden of these chronic conditions.


The integrative medicine model seeks to care for the whole person by taking into account the many interrelated factors that affect health, wellness, and disease, including the physical, mental, emotional, social, environmental, and spiritual dimensions of people's lives. Integrative medicine is based upon a model of health and wellness, with prevention and intervention as the goal.

                             THE WHEEL OF HEALTH


The Wheel of Health developed by Duke Integrative Medicine illustrates key areas that contribute to overall well being, with mindful awareness of these areas at the core. 

Self Care

  • Mind-Body Connection
  • Movement, Exercise, and Rest
  • Nutrition
  • Personal and Professional Development
  • Physical Environment
  • Relationships and Communication
  • Spirituality

Professional care

 Can include both conventional and evidence-based complementary approaches such as acupuncture, reiki, qigong, healing touch, guided imagery, hypnotherapy, mindfulness techniques, yoga, and more.