What are the 4 main types of NCDs?
Noncommunicable diseases are health conditions that cannot spread from one person to another as they are non-infectious. However, these diseases last for a longer period and hence are also called chronic diseases. Noncommunicable diseases are usually due to various factors such as genetic factors, physiological factors, environmental factors, and behavioral factors.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), noncommunicable diseases cause 41 million deaths each year, equivalent to 74 percent of all global deaths. There are 4 main types of NCDs. They are:
- Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs)
- Chronic Respiratory Diseases
Keep reading to get an insight on the 4 main types of Non communicable diseases
Cardiovascular diseases belong to a group of diseases that affect the heart and the blood vessels. According to WHO, cardiovascular diseases are a leading cause of death worldwide and were responsible for causing an estimated 17.9 million deaths globally in 2019 (32% of all global deaths).
Various risk factors are responsible for developing cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). These risk factors include:
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Tobacco consumption (smoking)
- Second-hand smoke exposure
- Family history of CVDs
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Salt and sugar-rich diet
- Alcohol consumption
Heart attack, coronary artery disease, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), stroke, peripheral artery disease, arrhythmia, cerebrovascular disease, deep vein thrombosis, and congenital heart disease are some types of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs).
Cancer is a type of NCD that occurs when the cells in the body start multiplying and dividing (proliferating) abnormally. Cancer can begin anywhere in the body and even spread to other body parts. Where the exact causes of cancer are unknown, certain risk factors might increase a person’s chances of developing cancer. These risk factors are:
- Family history
- Smoking and tobacco consumption
- Alcohol use
- Infection of certain viruses (like human papillomavirus (HPV), hepatitis B and C virus)
- Long-term, unprotected UV light exposure
- Exposure to radiation
- Sedentary lifestyle
- An unhealthy diet
- Exposure to certain chemicals
Breast cancer, colon cancer, rectal cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, blood cancer, brain cancer, stomach cancer, and ovarian cancer are some examples of different types of cancers.
Chronic Respiratory Disease
Chronic respiratory diseases belong to the group of diseases that affect the airways and other areas of the lung. There are various risk factors responsible for causing chronic respiratory diseases. These risk factors include:
- Genetic factor
- Air pollution
- Occupational exposure to chemicals and dust
- Poor ventilation at home
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, pulmonary hypertension, cystic fibrosis, and occupational lung disease are some examples of Chronic respiratory diseases.
Diabetes occurs when the body’s blood glucose levels are extremely high. Insulin is a hormone that is essential for regulating blood glucose levels. When the body fails in producing enough insulin, diabetes occurs. If the blood glucose levels are not controlled, then diabetes may cause some severe damage to other organs in the body.
The various risk factors associated with the risk of developing diabetes. These risk factors differ depending on the type of diabetes. Some of these risk factors include:
- Family history
- Injury to the pancreas
- Being obese
- Physical inactivity
- Having prediabetes
Prevention Is Better Than Cure
Although noncommunicable diseases are long-term chronic diseases, they can be managed easily when detected and treated early. Some risk factors responsible for increasing a person’s risk, like smoking, alcohol consumption, dietary choices, and a sedentary lifestyle, are preventable. Hence, modifying these habits can play a huge role in preventing or reducing the risk of developing these chronic noncommunicable diseases. Focussing on reducing the risk factors associated with these diseases is very essential to control NCDs. Early detection, screening and treatment and providing access to palliative care is essential in the management of these diseases.