If you have a long-term condition, there are ways you can get more involved with your own health and learn how to self-manage your condition and get support from others
Around two thirds of deaths in 18-74 year olds in England are avoidable and around 80% of those are preventable - largely through improved lifestyle including not smoking and keeping a healthy bodyweight. The top 5 causes of these deaths are cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung disease and liver disease. Mental health problems and diabetes also cause problems that impact on employment and future wellbeing. Healthy living is not a guarantee against illness but it greatly reduces your risk of getting these illnesses.
What about if you already have one of these illnesses?
There are things you can do to prevent flare-ups and delay them getting worse. For example, stopping smoking after you have been diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) slows its progression, helps you maintain remaining lung function and helps to avoid those chest infections which can be the cause of early death. Many cancers today can be treated and improved lifestyle choices can help to prevent the cancer coming back. Improved lifestyle choices can also prevent having a second heart attack or a second stroke.
Even more exciting is that some people can cure themselves of type 2 diabetes and of high blood pressure by losing weight (if they are overweight), eating a healthier diet and increasing physical activity. Type 2 diabetes is the type of diabetes you can get if you are overweight or obese, older or have a parent, brother or sister with this condition.
Exercising can be better for some people than a medicine to help with anxiety, depression and mental health conditions and for other people it can mean taking less medication.
There are many useful Apps, downloadable for free, that can help you take charge of your wellbeing without impacting on a busy and demanding lifestyle.
Use the links in the menu on the left of the page or below to access the pages for specific conditions.
Remember, Your Health Matters!