Open In App

Non-communicable Diseases -Types and its Prevention

Last Updated : 02 Jan, 2024
Like Article

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are those diseases that do not spread from one person to another. These diseases can be caused due to different factors like lifestyle, environment, genetic composition, age, and stress. Usually, NCDs develop very slowly and persist for a prolonged duration of time, sometimes throughout the lifetime. Some common examples of non-communicable diseases are- diabetes, asthma, stroke, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, etc. Prevention of NCDs includes proper diet, healthy lifestyle, and adaptation of stress relieving exercises like meditation, and yoga.

Definition of Non-Communicable Diseases

Non-communicable diseases or NCDs are diseases that do not get transmitted from one person to another through any medium.

Non-Communicable Diseases

Non-communicable diseases are those diseases that do not spread from one affected person to another person. These diseases are caused by various factors like environment, genetic composition, exposure to toxic substances, etc. These diseases are categorised based on multiple criteria like cause of occurrence and age of occurrence. Most of the time these diseases are chronic, having slow occurrence and prolonged duration. Some very frequently encountered non-communicable diseases are diabetes, cancer, depression, etc.

Examples Non-Communicable Diseases

Non-communicable are usually caused by genetic, environmental, or behavioural factors. Common examples list of non-communicable diseases are listed below.



General Symptoms

Cardiovascular Disease

Risk factors include hypertension, smoking, poor diet

Chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue

Diabetes Mellitus

Genetic and lifestyle factors

Fatigue, frequent urination, increased thirst, hyperglycaemia

Diabetes Insipidus

Insufficient production or action of antidiuretic hormone

Excessive thirst, excessive urination

Gestational diabetes

Hormonal changes during pregnancy

Increased thirst, frequent urination, fatigue, hyperglycaemia


Genetic mutation, exposure to carcinogen.

Symptoms vary depending on the type of cancer. Common symptoms include unexplained weight loss, loss of appetite, lumps, changes in bowel or bladder habits, etc.

Polycystic Ovarian Disease

Hormonal factors, genetics

Irregular periods, ovarian cysts, fertility issues

Alzheimer’s Disease

Age, genetics

Memory loss, cognitive decline, behavioral changes

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD)

Environmental factors, sometimes genetics, smoking

Shortness of breath, chronic cough, wheezing


Wear and tear of joint cartilage, ageing

Joint pain, stiffness, reduced range of motion


Genetic factors, unhealthy diet, lack of exercise

High blood pressure, headaches, dizziness


Poor diet, lack of physical activity and other diseases.

Excessive body weight, increased risk of other diseases


Insufficient thyroid hormone production

Fatigue, weight gain, sensitivity to cold


Excessive thyroid hormone production

Weight loss, rapid heartbeat, heat intolerance

Crohn’s disease

Genetic predisposition, environmental factors

Abdominal pain, diarrhoea, weight loss

Apart from the diseases mentioned in the above diseases, there are many other diseases that fall under the category of non-communicable diseases like autoimmune diseases, asthma, neurological disorders, muscular dystrophy, mental disorders, renal diseases, etc.

Classification of Non-Communicable Diseases

Based on the organs affected, the age at which a disease occurs, and the different external factors that cause it, a disease can be classified. The three broad categories into which non-communicable diseases can be classified are discussed below.

Lifestyle Diseases

Lifestyle diseases are ailments primarily influenced by individual behaviors and choices. They are commonly associated with modern living and include cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and respiratory conditions. Common causes of these diseases are sedentary lifestyles, unhealthy diets, tobacco use, and excessive alcohol consumption.

Geriatric Diseases

Geriatric diseases are those diseases which are prevalent in older populations, often characterized by complex and chronic issues. Common among these are neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, arthritis affecting joints, cardiovascular ailments, and osteoporosis leading to fragile bones.

Autoimmune diseases

Autoimmune diseases are caused when the immune system, designed to protect the body, mistakenly attacks its own tissues. Examples include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and type 1 diabetes. These disorders result in chronic inflammation and can affect various organs and systems. Autoimmune diseases often have a genetic predisposition, triggered by environmental factors.

Mental Health Disorders

Mental health disorders are another group of non-communicable diseases. These disorders affect thoughts, emotions, and behavior, and impact an individual’s daily functioning and well-being. Common mental health disorders include depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and eating disorders.

Factors that Cause Non-Communicable Diseases

Non-communicable diseases result from the combination of multiple factors that can be genetic, environmental, or lifestyle and behaviour. Some common factors are:

  • Lack of physical activity: Lack of physical activity results in various disorders like obesity, cardiovascular disorders, etc.
  • Improper Diet: Overconsumption of food or undernutrition can result in obesity, diabetes, deficiency disorders etc.
  • Genetic composition: Some diseases like hemophilia, sickle cell anaemia, etc. result from genetic mutation. Some of the genetic disorders tend to be inherited as well and are prominent within a family.
  • Use of Tobacco: Tobacco is one of the major cause of diseases like mouth cancer, throat cancer, and stomach cancer. When smoked in, it can cause lung cancer as well.
  • Excessive Alcohol Consumption: Alcohol consumption can result in stomach cancer, colorectal cancer, liver cirrhosis, ulcers, etc.
  • Stress: Stress is a cause of several mental disorders. Along with affecting mental health, stress can be a risk factor for many other diseases like diabetes, PCOS, etc.
  • Environmental factors: Environmental factors like the presence of carcinogens, other pollutants, etc. can also cause diseases like cancer, silicosis, asthma, COPD, etc.
  • Hormones: Malsecretion of different hormones can also cause some diseases like PCOD, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, diabetes insipidus, etc.

Prevention of Non-Communicable Diseases

Prevention of non-communicable diseases involves holistic approaches that promote a healthy lifestyle. Some common methods of prevention of non-communicable diseases are:

  • Eating a healthy diet and limiting the intake of processed food, sugars, and saturated fats.
  • Engaging in physical activities like running, jogging, and performing yoga.
  • Controlling the use of tobacco and alcohol consumption.
  • Getting vaccinated for different diseases.
  • Taking up stress management activities like meditation and mindfulness games.
  • Taking measures to reduce pollution and prevent exposure to carcinogens.

Also Read:

FAQs -Non-Communicable Diseases

1. Define Non Communicable Diseases.

Diseases that do not get transmitted from one person to another are called non-communicable diseases. Some examples of such diseases are diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, etc.

2. What are the 6 Types of Non-Communicable Diseases?

Six types of non-communicable diseases are diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, cronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), autoimmune diseases, obesity, etc.

3. How to Prevent NCDs?

NCDs can occur due to different factors like environmental factor , genetic composition , lifestyle, etc. These diseases can be prevented by following healthy life style, avoiding risk factors, and having regular medical examination .

4. Is Alzeihmer’s Disease Inherited?

Alzheimer’s disease has a genetic influence and risk increases with some genetic factors. However, it is a complex condition and is also influenced by various factors, including age, lifestyle, and environment.

5. What are the Biological Causes of Cancer?

Biological causes of cancer inlude genetic mutation that may lead to activation of oncogenenes, or inactivation of tumour supressor gene. It can result when apoptosis fails to occur or cells keep proliferating limitlessly due to some persistent inflammation. Sometimes infections by certain organisms like papiloma virus can also cause cancer.

Like Article
Suggest improvement
Share your thoughts in the comments

Similar Reads