Objective To investigate the prevalences of 9 common chronic diseases in retired cadres in Chongming County of Shanghai. Methods General epidemiological investigation was conducted in all retired cadres (n=268) living in Chongming County of Shanghai, and all data were collected from the cadre clinic, physical examination center and ward of cadres of Chongming Branch of Xinhua Hospital affiliated to Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine and on-site investigation. The diagnostic standard of classification of diseases referred to the standards of International Classification of Diseases ICD-10. Two hundred and forty-nine people were investigated actually, and the response rate was 92.9%. The prevalences of chronic diseases and distribution of diseases in retired cadres were retrospectively analysed. Results The prevalences of chronic diseases were 98.39% (245/249), and the prevalences of coronary heart disease, hypertension, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, gastritis and gastric ulcer, diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney disease, dementia and malignant tumors were 73.1%, 72.3%, 35.7%, 34.5%, 33.7%, 28.1%, 20.5%, 14.5% and 14.1%, respectively. The prevalence of having 3 diseases in the same cadre was 83.5%, that of having 7 diseases in the same cadre was 9.1%, and that of tumor was 14.1%. Conclusion Cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases dominate the disease spectrum of retired cadres. Various diseases may seize the same retired cadres at the same time, which is the most important epidemiological characteristics. The prevalence of tumors is higher in old people. Appropriate preventive measures should be taken, and proper treatment should be performed in the cadres.