What is NCDs – Timely Information


NCDS stand for non-communicable diseases. These are diseases that do not transfer from one person to the other thus the name non-communicable.

What is NCDs

These diseases are chronic which means they take long periods of time to develop and when they do they take long periods of time to treat or manage. Most of these diseases last a lifetime once they’ve developed.

There are 5 major types of NCDs that make up the bigger chunk of these diseases. They include
– Cancers
– cardiovascular diseases(heart and vein)
– Chronic lung diseases
– Mental Health.

Other NCDS include chronic kidney disease, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, Obesity Alzheimer’s disease, cataracts, and others.


NCDS are the leading killer diseases in the world accounting for 71% of deaths globally.
Here are some statistics from the World Health Organization

-Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) kill 41 million people each year, equivalent to 71% of all deaths globally.

-Each year, 15 million people die from a NCD between the ages of 30 and 69 years; over 85% of these “premature” deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.

-Cardiovascular diseases account for most NCD deaths, or 17.9 million people annually, followed by cancers (9.0 million), respiratory diseases (3.9million), and diabetes (1.6 million).

-These 4 groups of diseases account for over 80% of all premature NCD deaths.

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are the leading causes of death and disability worldwide. In 2005 NCDs caused an estimated 35 million deaths, 60% of all deaths globally, with 80% in low income and middle-income countries and approximately 16 million deaths in people less than 70 years of age. Total deaths from NCDs are projected to increases by a further 17% over the next 10 years.
By 2020, it is predicted that these diseases will be causing seven out of every 10 deaths in developing countries.


According to World Health Organization, there are many non-communicable diseases (NCDS) but the following 5 account for more than 80% of deaths from NCDS.

Some noncommunicable diseases are more common than others.
The four main types of noncommunicable diseases include cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic respiratory disease, and diabetes.

Cardiovascular disease

Poor diet and physical inactivity can cause increased:

blood pressure
blood glucose
blood lipids
These conditions increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Some people are born with (genetically predisposed to have) certain cardiovascular conditions.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of noncommunicable disease deaths. Some common noncommunicable cardiovascular conditions and diseases include:

heart attack
coronary artery disease
cerebrovascular disease
peripheral artery disease (PAD)
congenital heart disease
deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism


Cancer affects people of all ages, socioeconomic statuses, genders, and ethnicities. It’s the second most-common causeTrusted Source of noncommunicable disease death globally.

Some cancers cannot be avoided due to genetic risks. However, the World Health Organization estimates that 30 to 50 percentTrusted Source of cancers are preventable with adoption of healthy lifestyle choices.

Key steps in preventing disease include:

-avoiding tobacco
-limiting alcohol
-getting immunized against cancer-causing infections
In 2015, nearly 1 of 6 deaths, globally, was caused by cancer.

The most common cancer deaths in men worldwide include:

The most common cancer deaths in women worldwide include:


Chronic respiratory disease

Chronic respiratory diseases are ailments affecting the airways and lung structures. Some of these diseases have a genetic basis.

However, other causes include lifestyle choices such as smoking and environmental conditions like exposure to air pollution, poor air quality, and poor ventilation.

While these diseases are incurable, they can be managed with medical treatment. The most common chronic respiratory diseases include:

chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
occupational lung diseases, such as black lung
pulmonary hypertension
cystic fibrosis


Diabetes occurs when the body cannot produce enough insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar (glucose). It can also occur when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces.

Some effects of diabetes include heart disease, vision loss, and kidney injury. If blood sugar levels are not controlled, diabetes can seriously damage other organs and systems in the body over time.

There are two main types of diabetes:

Type 1 diabetes is often diagnosed during childhood or young adulthood. It’s the result of an immune system dysfunction.
Type 2 diabetes is often acquired during later adulthood. It’s typically the result of poor diet, inactivity, obesity, and other lifestyle and environmental factors.
Other types of diabetes include:

gestational diabetes, which causes elevated blood sugar in 3 to 8 percent of pregnant women in the United States
prediabetes, a condition defined by higher-than-normal blood sugar levels that lead to a very high risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the near future


People of all age groups, regions and countries are affected by NCDs. These conditions are often associated with older age groups, but evidence shows that 15 million of all deaths attributed to NCDs occur between the ages of 30 and 69 years. Of these “premature” deaths, over 85% are estimated to occur in low- and middle-income countries. Children, adults and the elderly are all vulnerable to the risk factors contributing to NCDs, whether from unhealthy diets, physical inactivity, exposure to tobacco smoke or the harmful use of alcohol.

These diseases are driven by forces that include rapid unplanned urbanization, globalization of unhealthy lifestyles and population ageing. Unhealthy diets and a lack of physical activity may show up in people as raised blood pressure, increased blood glucose, elevated blood lipids and obesity. These are called metabolic risk factors that can lead to cardiovascular disease, the leading NCD in terms of premature deaths.


Big numbers—youth should never be neglected

NCDs are especially important for young people, now and in the future. Two thirds of premature deaths in adults are associated with childhood conditions and behaviours, and behaviour associated with NCD risk factors is common in young people: over 150 million young people smoke; 81% adolescents don’t get enough physical activity; 11.7% of adolescents partake in heavy episodic drinking and 41 million children under 5 years old are overweight or obese. Apathy to change current behaviours will add to the current NCD burden, with severe consequences for future populations and their health systems. Today’s youth is tomorrow’s leaders and carers will bear the brunt of these costs, both financially and personally. Youth everywhere therefore have a vested interest in NCD prevention.

Young people have the capacity to add value to solutions for NCDs. As part of the emerging ‘New Power’ crowd, young citizens are more empowered and enthused to participate in shaping their everyday lives, including health, than generations before. Complementary to the technical expertise that older generations’ might offer, the voices of youth may offer new perspectives, media channels and solutions to NCDs. Today’s youth generation are the people who will drive forward the Sustainable Development Goals and transform our societies for the future we want.


The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted at the United Nations Summit on Sustainable Development in September 2015, recognizes noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) as a major challenge for sustainable development. NCDs were not addressed in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

As part of the Agenda, Heads of State and Government committed to develop national responses to the overall implementation of this Agenda , including to:

-Reduce by one third premature mortality from NCDs
-Strengthen responses to reduce the harmful use of alcohol
-Achieve universal health coverage (UHC)
-Strengthen the implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC)
-Support the research and development of vaccines and medicines for NCDs that primarily affect developing countries
-Provide access to affordable essential medicines and vaccines for NCDs

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