Skip to main content
Update Location

My Location

Update your location to show providers, locations, and services closest to you.

Enter a zip code
Select a campus/region


Chronic refers to something that continues over an extended period of time. A chronic condition is usually long-lasting and does not easily or quickly go away.

Chronic is the opposite of acute.


Acute vs. chronic conditions
Acute conditions are severe and sudden in onset. This could describe anything from a broken bone to an asthma attack. A chronic condition, by contrast is a long-developing syndrome, such as osteoporosis or asthma. Note that osteoporosis, a chronic condition, may cause a broken bone, an acute condition. An acute asthma attack occurs in the midst of the chronic disease of asthma. Acute conditions, such as a first asthma attack, may lead to a chronic syndrome if untreated.


Taber's Medical Dictionary Online website. Accessed April 15, 2021.

Last reviewed January 16, 2021 by Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team..

Related specialties

Clinical Trials: Chronic

UF Health research scientists make medicine better every day. They discover new ways to help people by running clinical trials. When you join a clinical trial, you can get advanced medical care. Sometimes years before it's available everywhere. You can also help make medicine better for everyone else. If you'd like to learn more about clinical trials, visit our clinical trials page. Or click one of the links below:

Biopsychosocial Influence on Shoulder Pain

Chronic shoulder pain is a common, costly, and disabling problem for society. The identification of factors predictive of the development of chronic shoulder pain is necessary to develop innovative and effective treatments to reduce the societal…

Accepting Candidates
18 Years - 64 Years

The objective of the study is to characterize the relationship between select objective metrics and clinical outcomes in chronic pain patients treated with Boston Scientific commercially approved neurostimulation systems.

Rene Przkora
Accepting Candidates
18 Years - N/A
DBS Severe ET Closed Loop

This is a feasibility study based on physician-initiated Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) including intraoperative experiments and chronic testing of implanted dual thalamic DBS lead systems. This study will inform protocols for optimal use of…

Accepting Candidates
21 Years - 99 Years
View all chronic studies

News and Patient Stories: Chronic

More Chronic stories

Latest podcast episodes

New therapy offers lasting relief for chronic pain

Imagine this: A patient with chronic pain walks into a doctor’s office and says, “I like my therapy like I like my eggs: Scrambled.” That old chestnut isn’t quite applicable yet, but it’s close. A...

Listen to more Health in a Heartbeat episodes