Non-Communicable Diseases: Examples and List

An NCD or non-communicable disease is a disease that is not infectious and cannot be transferred to others. Some of these are diseases that progress slowly or cause chronic symptoms while others progress very rapidly. The World Health Organization estimates that NCDs are the leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for 60 percent of deaths in all humans. In most cases NCDs attack the body individually rather than being related to each other. 

A Short Non Communicable Diseases List with Analysis

Risk Factors of NCD: Some risk factors of non-communicable diseases include the environment, lifestyle or background such as the genetics, age, exposure to air pollution or gender of a person. Some behaviors such as a lack of physical activity, poor diet or smoking which could lead to obesity or hypertension can also increase the risk of developing some non-communicable diseases. Many of these are considered preventable because the condition can be improved by removing the at-risk behavior.

1. Diabetes

Diabetes limits the body’s ability to process glucose normally. Type 1 diabetes which is present from birth causes the pancreas to be destroyed by the immune system, causing glucose to build up in the bloodstream. Type 2 diabetes is developed over time causing the cells to resist the effects of insulin, causing unhealthy levels of glucose in the bloodstream. Risk factor of Type 2 diabetes is being overweight or obese.

2. Hypertension

This is caused when an individual consistently has a blood pressure reading over 140/90. This can be caused by diabetes, smoking, excessive salt intake, obesity or kidney disease.

3. Osteoporosis

This condition causes a decrease in bone mass which can make the bones brittle and at higher risk for damage. Around 80 percent of people who have osteoporosis are women. Additional factors which increase the risk of this disease are the presence of diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, inactivity, low sex hormone levels or smoking.

4. Alzheimer’s

This condition causes dementia in those in advanced age, or over 60 years old. Symptoms of this condition can vary but often include getting lost, memory loss, difficulty managing daily tasks or managing money, personality changes, loss of bodily control or delusions.

5. Heart Disease

This is a very broad category of diseases which impact the circulatory system or heart. This can include congenital heart disease, rhythm irregularities, heart failure, heart attack, unstable angina, mitral valve prolapse, aortic regurgitation, cardiogenic shock or endocarditis.

6. Fibromyalgia

Among the non communicable diseases list, this disease causes damage to soft tissue in the body. It can lead to sleep disturbance patterns, widespread pain, exhaustion or irregular heartbeat. With time the symptoms can progress causing cognitive or memory difficulties, jaw pain, nasal congestion, headaches or irritable bowel syndrome.

7. Lung Cancer

Lung cancer causes malignant cell growth in the lung tissue, often as a result of exposure to pollutants or the use of tobacco products. As many as 90 percent of lung cancer cases are caused by smoking with non-smokers having a very small risk of this disease.

8. Leukemia

Leukemia causes the body to produce abnormal blood cells that then release malignant cells into the bloodstream. Since the bloodstream carries these malignant cells throughout the body they can affect other tissues such as the nervous system, skin or liver. While this disease is often associated with children, most patients are actually men over 60.

9. Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is caused when ultraviolet rays damage the skin cells. This can appear anywhere on the body but is most common on the skin. Those that have low pigmentation in the skin such as redheads, blondes or those with blue eyes tend to be at higher risk for this disease. Limiting direct skin exposure can significantly reduce the risk of developing skin cancer and with early detection this disease is 95 percent curable.

10. Seizures or Epilepsy

Seizures are caused by a neurologic malfunction that causes abnormal electrical activity within the brain. These can be localized or cause symptoms such as numbness that stems from an explosive firing of nerves in the brain. Tumors or brain damage can cause someone to develop this disease.There is no cure for epilepsy but medications can help to reduce the frequency of seizures.

Non Communicable Diseases List

Genetic diseases are caused by hereditary factors passed down by parents to children and also along extended generational lines. Chromosomal errors passed on to offspring result in a long list of recognized clinical diseases. Environmental diseases often are the result of the interplay between a combination of environmental exposures, lifestyle factors, diet and occupational hazards. 

Genetic Diseases

Environmental Diseases

  • Achondroplasia
  • Albinism
  • Bardet-Biedl syndrome
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Canavan disease
  • Color blindness
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Down's syndrome
  • Fragile X syndrome
  • Galactosemia
  • Hemophilia
  • Krabbe disease
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Neurofibromatosis
  • Noonan syndrome
  • Osteogenesis
  • Patau syndrome
  • Sickle-cell disease
  • Tay-Sachs disease
  • Triple X syndrome
  • Turner syndrome
  • Usher syndrome
  • Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome
  • Waardenburg syndrome
  • Wilson's disease
  • Xeroderma pigmentosum
  • Appendicitis
  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Arteriosclerosis
  • Asthma
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases
  • Emphyema
  • Fetal alcohol syndrome
  • Glaucoma
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Narcolepsy
  • Osteoporosis
  • Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
  • Tick paralysis


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