Skip Global navigation and goto content

It's a New Day in Public Health.

The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county & community efforts.

Skip MegaMenu and goto content

Chronic Disease Prevention

Florida Department of Health in Pasco County

Chronic diseases - such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes - are among the most prevalent, costly and preventable of all health problems. Leading a healthy lifestyle (avoiding tobacco and substance abuse, being physically active, and eating well) can greatly reduce a person’s risk for developing chronic disease.

The burden of chronic disease in our community is undeniable.Nationwide, chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes cause nearly 70% of all deaths and consume 75% of all health care dollars each year. In Pasco County, greater than 80% of all deaths are associated with chronic disease, many of which share the same known risk factors of physical inactivity, poor nutrition, and tobacco use.

Although chronic diseases are among the most common health problems, they are also among the most preventable. Adopting healthy behaviors such as eating healthy foods, being physically active, and avoiding tobacco can significantly reduce the risk of developing a chronic illness.

Four health risk behaviors—lack of physical activity, poor nutrition, tobacco use, and excessive alcohol consumption—are responsible for much of the illness and death related to chronic diseases.

Top 10 Leading Causes of Death in Pasco County 2015

Overall Percentage and Number of Total Deaths in Pasco County

Malignant Neoplasm*

22.7% (n =1,338)

Heart Diseases*

21.7% (n = 1,278)


8.4% (n = 492)

Unintentional Injury

5.5% (n = 326)


5.0% (n = 295)

Alzheimer’s Disease*

3.4% (n =199)

Diabetes Mellitus*

3.4% (n =199)

Kidney Disease*

1.9% (n = 113)

Chronic Liver Dis. *

1.9% (n = 111)


1.7% (n = 103)

Is Pasco County eating healthy?

  • Less than 25% of adults in Pasco County eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables everyday.
  • Only 21% of high school students in Pasco County eat vegetables every day, and only 32% eat fruit everyday.

Is Pasco County physically active?

  • Nearly two-third of our residents do not meet moderate physical activity recommendations.
  • Over 20% of adults in Pasco County do not participate in any leisure-time physical activities.
  • Less than half (46%) of high school students in Pasco County are physically active at least 5 days each week, and only 49% of middle school students are physically active at least 5 days each week.

Is Pasco County tobacco-free?

  • More than 1 out of every 5 adults in Pasco are smokers.
  • 66.7% of high school students who participated in the Florida Youth Tobacco Survey admitted to being exposed to second-hand smoke during the past 7 days.
  • The majority of adults (80%) do not smoke, and they work in smoke-free workplaces.
  • The majority of high school students (83%) do not smoke, and almost all (94%) avoid “chew”.

Is Pasco Coping?

  • According to the latest BRFSS data, approximately 1 out 5 adults (20%) in Pasco County engage in heavy/binge drinking.
  • There were 309 suicides in Pasco County from 2013-2015. The rate of suicides for Pasco County between 2013-2015 is 19.4 per 100,000 compared to the state of Florida rate of 14.1 per 100,000.
  • In 2016, 1 out of 8 students aged 11 – 17 (12.5%) reported using marijuana/hashish within the previous 30 days, slightly higher than the state average of 11.2%.