Special Edition – Management of Chronic Diseases

Family Medicine and Community Health

February 2018, Volume 6, Number 1

Special Edition – Management of Chronic Diseases

The theme of this edition is very timely as the world in general, and China in particular, confront the growing epidemic of chronic non- communicable disease (NCD). Whilst the fight against infectious disease is never over, around 80% of morbidity and mortality in China is due to chronic, complex and often multi-system disease, including cardiovascular disease, chronic lung disease, cancer, degenerative joint and neurological disease, and as the community ages the increasing prevalence of dementia. Many of these conditions are accompanied by depression and other mental health and social welfare problems. Around 40% of these conditions occur in people aged less than 70 years and a large proportion are preventable, with cigarette smoking (over 60% of males in China smoke) being a major contributor to chronic disease. The World Health Organisation(WHO) has set a target of 25% reduction of premature death from chronic disease by 2025. Failure to achieve this target in low and middle income countries, including China, will cost US$25 trillion globally.

Primary care, in particular general practice, must be at the forefront of containing the epidemic of chronic disease and ways of doing this are highlighted in the papers featured in this edition of the FMCH journal. The diagnosis and management of Type 2 diabetes and Chronic Heart Failure are, both important chronic conditions, are discussed in this journal. These conditions like many chronic diseases require team based care with general practitioners playing a pivotal role in patient centred care, supported by careful care planning and IT systems that facilitate communication between team members. A paper on e-solutions in chronic disease management addresses this issue. As well the journal features articles by medical education experts on GP training needed to achieve improvements in chronic disease management.

Australian clinicians and academics from Monash University along with their Chinese colleagues are to be congratulated on the timely production of this edition of the journal.

Professor Leon Piterman

Department of General Practice

Monash University