Chronic diseases may be inherited, but many lifestyle and environmental factors such as smoking, inappropriate diet, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, smoking and harmful use of alcohol consumption are known to increase risks.
These are to some extent within the control of a well-informed individual. There are often other factors such as poverty, genetic predisposition over which the individual has little control. 
Besides early diagnosis, management and harm reduction there are opportunities at every stage for prevention and for promoting healthy behaviour.
Priority chronic diseases are as follows:
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes type 2
  • Asthma
  • Epilepsy
  • Stroke
  • Renal disease
  • Obstructive lung disease.
Mandela University Student Health Services focus on prevention and early diagnosis, and monitoring of non-communicable diseases such as blood pressure and blood sugar and refer all abnormal readings for further care