In Greek mythology, Chronos was the god who provided a personification of the passage of time. The etymology of the word is reflected in such English words as chronology and chronic.
A chronic health condition is one that persists over time and does not necessarily have a cure. As we began discussing in part one of this post, a surprisingly large percentage of Americans struggle with such conditions.
In this part of the post, we will discuss the connection between chronic health conditions and death, as well as disability. We will also consider the implications this has for estate planning.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), chronic diseases accounted for seven of the leading 10 causes of death in the U.S. in 2010. Two chronic diseases in particular – namely cancer and heart disease – were responsible for nearly half of the deaths that year.
Obesity, diabetes and arthritis are also very common conditions. Indeed, the CDC estimates that about one-third of all American adults have a body mass index that classifies them as obese.
Obesity has many complications for overall health. Diabetes does as well, such as raising the risk of kidney failure.
In short, if you or someone close to you has a serious chronic health condition, it becomes particularly important to engage in the estate planning process. Given the ongoing toll of the chronic conditions, it is best to get your estate plan in place sooner rather than later – before those chronic conditions worsen.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Chornic Diseases and Health Promotion," Accessed June 12, 2014