Acute Disease vs. Chronic Disease

Main Difference

The main difference between acute disease and chronic disease is that the medical condition which takes place instantly and lasts for a short period is called acute disease while the medical condition in which the disease occurs slowly but continues for an extended period is called chronic disease. But sometimes an acute disease may changes into the chronic disease like in the case of asthma.

Acute Disease vs. Chronic Disease — Is There a Difference?

Difference Between Acute Disease and Chronic Disease

Acute Disease vs. Chronic Disease

Acute disease occurs suddenly while chronic disease occurs slowly.

Acute Disease vs. Chronic Disease

The acute disease leaves no harmful effects while chronic disease leaves adverse effects.

Acute Disease vs. Chronic Disease

The acute disease lasts for a few days while chronic disease lasts for months, years or lifetime.


Comparison Chart

Acute DiseaseChronic Disease
A disease that occurs instantly and may last for short duration is called acute diseaseA disease that occurs slowly and may last for more than three months, leaving the adverse effects is known as a chronic disease.
Appearance of Symptoms
The acute disease appears suddenlyThe chronic disease appears slowly and gradually
Time Span
This disease last for a few days or weeksThis disease lasts for years and sometimes a lifetime
Nature of Pain
Pain may start suddenly but then disappear with timePain lasts for many days or may last for months
Has no long term effects on the health of the individualMay cause severe and long term effects on an individual’s health
Care Provider
The expert provides medical careThe expert provides medical care, supports self-management
Influenza, flu, cold, burn, broken bone, cough, jaundice, typhoid, and choleraCancer, AIDS, hepatitis, osteoporosis, and heart diseases and asthma attack

Acute Disease vs. Chronic Disease

Due to the difference of duration of disease and due to the severity of a condition, diseases are classified into two different categories. One is an acute disease, and the other one is a chronic disease. The acute disease appears suddenly, but a chronic disease appears gradually. In case of an acute disease pain fells suddenly and wanes as heals, for example, common cough, flu, and injury afflict a person suddenly, lasts for a short time and then disappears. But chronic disease creeps out gradually, and with the time someone’s feels its presence. The chronic disease continues for weeks and months; for example, back pain is a chronic disease; its pain lasts for months. Acute disease has no longer effects on the health of the individual while the chronic disease may cause severe and long term effects on an individual’s health.

What is Acute Disease?

An acute disease is that disease which has a rapid appearance and lasts for a short duration. Acute infection is far more common than chronic illness. The acute disease can be as simple as the pain of toe to as dangerous as a heart attack. These diseases have no harmful effects on the body of individuals. In case of acute diseases pain is bearable and for a short duration. Acute illness can be treated with medicine and care. Some acute diseases like influenza, cough can be cured without any treatment, but some are addressed with the help of medication.


Cold, cough, burn, breaking of bone, strokes, cholera, strep throat, typhoid, jaundice, appendicitis, influenza, and pneumonia.

What is a Chronic Disease?

Chronic disease is a disease that remains for a long time. Chronic disease is one that lasts for three months or more. Commonly 1 in 3 persons is affected by chronic illness. Health damaging behavior like the use of tobacco, lack of physical activity, and poor eating habits are the real contributors to chronic disease. The chronic disease tends to become a more chronic disease. More common signs for the diagnosis of chronic disease are a weakness in someone’s arms and legs, feel dizzy, have trouble in walking, chest pain, tenderness, and pain in the back of your leg, Chronic disease requires proper care and medication or sometimes hospitalization. For example migraine, back pain and asthma can be cured by simple medicines, diet, and fitness but some chronic diseases like kidney disease require hospitalization and process of dialysis.


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


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