List of Major Non-Communicable Diseases in India


List of Major Non-Communicable Diseases in India

The rising cases of chronic illnesses has put the spotlight on various non-communicable diseases in India. With a share of 60% of all deaths in India, non-communicable diseases are breaking records while striking people of all ages. Specifically, heart diseases and hypertension account for 45%  of deaths, while respiratory diseases and cancer cause 22% and 12% of deaths in India annually. 

Thus, it becomes essential to know what are the most prevalent non-communicable diseases in India while understanding their causes, symptoms, and preventive measures. 

What are Non-Communicable Diseases?

Non-communicable diseases, or NCDs, are a group of illnesses that affect the body for a long period while attacking the major organs and their functioning. Also known as chronic diseases, NCDs develop gradually within the body rather than spreading from person to person. Non-communicable ailments can hit anyone – from younger children to adults and senior citizens – due to genetic, environmental, and lifestyle imbalances. 

Without any clearly visible symptoms at early stages, it is difficult to detect if a person suffers from non-communicable diseases. That explains why NCDs are the number one reason behind most deaths and disabilities worldwide. The worst part is some types of non-communicable illnesses develop slowly over time, while most of them may spread rapidly– lowering the chances of survival. This means that most people who appear to be healthy, maybe suffering from non-communicable diseases without any knowledge. 

To stay aware, let’s dig deeper into the types of non-communicable diseases while studying their causes and symptoms. 

List of Most Prevalent Non-Communicable Diseases in India 

Some of the most common examples of non-communicable diseases in India include:

  • Cardiovascular or heart diseases 
  • Cerebrovascular diseases or stroke
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Common Cancers (Cervical, Breast, and Oral)
  • Chronic Respiratory Diseases, like Asthma
  • Tooth Decay/ cavities
  • Gum Diseases
  • Mental Health Conditions, and
  • Major Injuries like Burns, crashes, falls, etc.

All these diseases result from prolonged unhealthy habits, with tobacco and alcohol consumption being the key critical factors. Besides, unhealthy lifestyles, physical inactivity, and adverse social conditions are also factors aggravating non-communicable illnesses. In an effort to prevent chronic diseases early on, it is important to know about their causes and early signs. 

Causes and Symptoms of Non-Communicable Diseases

Most non-communicable diseases are caused by unhealthy habits like smoking, poor diet, high-cholesterol food consumption, stressful working conditions, and some genetic factors. Let’s take a look at the top 12 causes and symptoms of the most widely-spread non-communicable diseases in India:

1. Hypertension

Causes: Advancing Age | Family History | Lack of Physical Activity

Symptoms: Severe headache | Frequent discomfort while eating | Blurry vision, weakness, or dizziness

2. Diabetes

Causes: Unhealthy eating habits | Addictions to smoking, tobacco, drugs, and alcohol | Obesity and hypertension

Symptoms: Frequesnt urge to urinate | Increased hunger and thirst | Extreme tiredness and blurred vision

3. Heart Attack & Stroke

Causes: Family History of stroke | Certain medicines that increase the risk of stroke | Stress, isolation, and depression

Symptoms: Intense pain and pressure feeling in the chest | Discomfort or pain in upper body parts like arm, neck, or jaw | Shortness of breath or unconsiousness

4. Cervical Cancer

Causes: HPV infection | Smoking |Poor sexual hygiene

Symptoms: Vaginal bleeding between periods | Unsually longer or heavier menstrual cycle | Post-menopausal bleeding

5. Oral Cancer

Causes: Consumption of tobacco or pan | Smoking | Poor Oral Hygiene

Symptoms: Mouth Ulcers persisting for more than three weeks | Persistent pain in mouth | A lump or thickening cheek

As harmful as the symptoms are, the consequences of non-communicable illnesses can be unbearable – from prolonged illness to death. The stats reveal that cervical and breast cancer are the most prevalent types of cancer, spreading rapidly among Indian women. Also, the fact that the Indian mortality rate accounts for one-fourth of all deaths dues to cardiovascular diseases. 

Difference Between Communicable and Non-Communicable Diseases 

To understand chronic ailments better, let’s decode the difference between communicable and non-communicable diseases based on these factors:


  • Communicable illnesses are caused by bacteria and viruses and spread from person to person.
  • Non-communicable diseases are caused by unhealthy lifestyle habits. NCDs do not spread from person to person. 


  • Communicable illnesses: COVID-19, Ebola, HIV, hepatitis, and influenza
  • Non-communicable illnesses: Heart-related diseases, blood pressure, high sugar levels, arthritis, cancer, etc. 


  • Communicable diseases are caused by pathogens like viruses, bacteria, and fungi. They spread through air, infected water, bodily fluids, animals, insect bites, contaminated water, and food.  
  • Non-communicable diseases are caused by unhealthy environments, lifestyle habits, and genetic issues. They are not spread through external sources but develop within a person over time. 


  • Major symptoms of communicable diseases include fever, cough, cold, sore throat, headache, muscle pain, chills, and weakness.
  • Symptoms of NCDs differ from disease to disease, majorly including vomiting, unconsciousness, pain and discomfort in the chest or other body parts.

Treatment Time

  • Communicable infections are usually short-termed and temporary in nature. They can be cured within a week or two. 
  • NCDs are long-term diseases that need prolonged care and control to cure. 

Also Read: 7 Most Common Communicable Diseases in India

How to Prevent Non-Communicable Diseases? 

While there are several risk factors leading to chronic ailments, people can follow timely preventive measures to ensure safety. Here are some useful prevention tips for non-communicable diseases:

  • Undergo routine full body check-ups
  • Adopt healthy lifestyle habits like a balanced diet and proper sleep. 
  • Indulge in increased physical activity and do regular exercise
  • Go for regular screening and diagnostic tests to ensure early detection
  • Stay aware of habits or foods that may cause critical illnesses. 

Secure Your Family Against Non-Communicable Diseases with Care Insurance

At Care Insurance, we ensure that you and your family receive adequate support to beat the fear of communicable diseases. We offer plans specific to critical diseases, including Critical Illness Mediclaim covering 32 chronic conditions, Heart Mediclaim for heart-related ailments, and Health Insurance for Diabetes. These plans come with unique benefits like:

  • Comprehensive annual health check-ups
  • 30-day pre and 60-day post-hospitalisation coverage
  • No-claim bonus 
  • Recharge of sum insured, and
  • Cashless hospitalisation facility across 22900+ healthcare providers. 

So, the time is now for prevention against life-threatening chronic diseases. Opt for the right health insurance for non-communicable diseases by Care Insurance to secure your today and tomorrow.

Disclaimer: Please verify the policy details and coverage with the official policy documents. Also, kindly consult a professional medical expert to verify the details of health concerns.

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