Health Department

Chronic diseases—such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and arthritis—are the leading causes of death and disability in the United States. These diseases account for 7 of every 10 deaths and affect the quality of life of 90 million Americans. Although chronic diseases are among the most common and costly health problems, they are also among the most preventable. Adopting healthy behaviors such as eating nutritious foods, being physically active, and avoiding tobacco use can prevent or control the devastating effects of these diseases. (Resource:


  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Osteoporosis
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity

Cardiovascular Disease (CVD)

Cardiovascular disease (CVD), primarily heart disease and stroke, causes more deaths in Americans of both genders and all racial and ethnic groups than any other disease. It is also one of the leading causes of disability in the United States. CVD costs an estimated $300 billion annually as measured in health care expenditures, medications, and lost productivity due to disability and death.

CVD Website Resources


Bones play many roles in the body. They provide structure, protect organs, anchor muscles, and store calcium. Adequate calcium consumption and weight bearing physical activity build strong bones, optimizes bone mass, and may reduce the risk of osteoporosis later in life.

Osteoporosis Website Resources


Each year in the United States, diabetes is diagnosed in about 800,000 people. Diabetes mellitus is a chronic metabolic disorder affecting the body's ability to make or use insulin. Diabetes causes a variety of disabling and life-threatening complications and is the leading cause of non-traumatic amputations, blindness among working-age adults, and end-stage kidney disease.

Diabetes Website Resources


Overweight and obesity are a result of energy imbalance over a long period of time. The cause of energy imbalance for each individual may be due to a combination of several factors. Individual behaviors, environmental factors, and genetics all contribute to the complexity of the obesity epidemic.

Body Mass Index

The current definitions commonly in use establish the following values, agreed in 1997 and published in 2000:

  • A BMI less than 18.5 is underweight
  • A BMI of 18.5-24.9 is normal weight
  • A BMI of 25.0-29.9 is overweight
  • A BMI of 30.0 – 39.9 is obese
  • A BMI of 40.0 or higher is severely (or morbidly) obese
  • A BMI of 35.0 or higher in the presence of at least one other significant co-morbidity is also classified by some bodies as morbid obesity.

Obesity Website Resources

This information is distributed by Erie County Department of Health, 606 W. 2nd Street, Erie, PA 16507, 814-451-6700,

Erie County Courthouse - 140 West Sixth Street, Erie, PA 16501 - (814) 451-6000 - TDD Phone: (814) 451-6237 - Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 4:30pm
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