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Chronic Definition

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Updated May 06, 2014

Definition: The term chronic means lasting a long period of time. In medicine, an illness may be considered chronic if it has lasted six months or more, or if there is no expectation of improvement. Arthritis, for example, is a chronic condition that typically does not go away after diagnosis.

The opposite of chronic is acute. An acute illness is typically brief, or does not happen again after treatment. A broken leg is an acute illness.

Also Known As: long term illness, long duration,
Common Misspellings: khronic, kronic, cronic, chronik,
Examples:
Emphysema, a lung condition that tends to worsen over time, is a chronic illness.
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