Difference between acute disease and chronic disease

Main difference

The main difference between acute illness and chronic illness is that the medical condition that occurs instantaneously and lasts for a short period is called acute illness, while the medical condition in which the illness occurs slowly but continues for a long period is called chronic illness. But sometimes an acute illness can transform into a chronic illness as in the case of asthma.

Acute disease versus chronic disease

Due to the difference in duration of the disease and due to the severity of a condition, diseases are classified into two different categories. One is an acute disease and the other is a chronic disease. Acute disease appears suddenly, but a chronic disease appears gradually. In the case of an acute illness, the pain decreases suddenly and diminishes as it heals, for example, the common cough, flu and injuries afflict a person suddenly, lasts for a short time, and then disappears. But chronic disease manifests itself gradually, and over time someone feels its presence. The disease continues chronic for weeks and months; For example, back pain is a chronic disease, your pain lasts for months. The acute disease no longer has effects on the health of the individual,

Comparative chart

Acute illness Chronic illness
An illness that occurs instantly and can last for a short time is called an acute illness. A disease that occurs slowly and can last more than three months, leaving adverse effects is known as a chronic disease.
Appearance of symptoms
Acute disease appears suddenly. Chronic disease appears slowly and gradually.
Space of time
This illness lasts for a few days or weeks. This disease lasts for years and sometimes a lifetime.
Nature of pain
The pain may start suddenly but then go away over time The pain lasts for many days or it can last for months.
Effects edit
It has no long-term effects on the health of the individual. It can cause serious and long-term effects on a person’s health.
Care provider
Expert provides medical care Expert provides medical care, supports self-management
Influenza, flu, cold, burns, broken bones, cough, jaundice, typhoid, and cholera Cancer, AIDS, hepatitis, osteoporosis, and heart disease and asthma attack
What is acute illness?

An acute disease is one that has a rapid onset and lasts for a short time. Acute infection is much more common than chronic disease. Acute illness can be as simple as a sore toe to as dangerous as a heart attack. These diseases do not have harmful effects on people’s bodies. In acute illnesses, the pain is bearable and short-lived. Acute illnesses can be treated with medication and care. Some acute illnesses, like influenza, cough can be cured without any treatment, but some are treated with the help of medicine.


Cold, cough, burn, broken bone, stroke, cholera, strep throat, typhoid fever, jaundice, appendicitis, influenza, and pneumonia .

What is a chronic disease?

Chronic disease is a disease that lasts for a long time. Chronic disease is one that lasts three months or more. Usually 1 in 3 people is affected by a chronic disease. Unhealthy behaviors like tobacco use, lack of physical activity, and poor eating habits are the true contributors to chronic disease. Chronic illness tends to turn into a more chronic illness .The most common signs for the diagnosis of a chronic disease are weakness in a person’s arms and legs, feeling dizzy, having trouble walking, chest pain, tenderness and pain in the back of the leg, chronic disease requires appropriate care and medication or sometimes hospitalization. For example, migraine headaches, back pain, and asthma can be cured with simple medications, diet, and exercise, but some chronic diseases such as kidney disease require hospitalization and a dialysis process.


Cancer, tuberculosis, heart disease, osteoporosis, arthritis, asthma attack, diabetes mellitus, HIV / AIDS, emphysema, kidney disease

Key differences

  1. Acute disease occurs suddenly while chronic disease occurs slowly.
  2. Acute disease leaves no harmful effects while chronic disease leaves adverse effects.
  3. Acute illness lasts for a few days, while chronic illness lasts for months, years, or a lifetime.

Final Thought

The article concludes that both acute and chronic disease are curable. Acute disease is a sudden, less harmful, short-term disease, while chronic disease is a long-term, more harmful and progressive disease.

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