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: Uttaradhikari

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: Frequent 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. 

10 ways to prevent non communicable diseases

Here are 10 most essential lifestyle changes that can keep all the critical illnesses at bay:

1. Balanced Diet: The most significant factor behind deteriorating health is ignoring healthy diet. The most fundamental aspect of a healthy lifestyle is taking a balanced diet. While there are many ways to get a balanced diet such as creating a diet chart. Yet, people get confused as to how a balanced diet can be taken. The best way to chart a diet plan is to follow the food pyramid. According to the food pyramid, you should consume cereals, millets and pulses in adequate amounts; take fruits and veggies liberally. However, animal foods such as meat, fish and eggs should be taken moderately and oils and sugars in quite meagre amounts. Junk food should be sparingly eaten or should be avoided.

2. Control Obesity: It is a universally known fact that obesity is the root cause of all cardiovascular diseases. It is thus important to diagnose the symptoms of overweight/obesity. The most effective way to do so is to measure the Body Mass Index (BMI) and the Waist Circumference (WC). Given below is the formula for BMI:

BMI = Weight (in kg)/Height (in meter2) 

The normal range of BMI for Asian Indian adults is 18 – 22.9 kg/m2

Similarly, the normal ranges of Waist Circumference is given below:

  • Less than or equal to 90 cm in men.
  • Less than or equal to 80 cm in women.

3. Physical Activity: It is very crucial to regularly indulge yourself in a vigorous exercise that involves movement of muscles and use of energy. This helps in burning of fat and prevents coagulation of the arteries, which reduces the chances of cardiovascular diseases. An average adult should do at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. You can easily accomplish this goal if you do at least 30 minutes of exercise during your 5 working days. You may practise brisk walking, jogging, cycling, dancing, aerobics, playing outdoor sports, and yoga. Besides, you should also do meditation to keep your mind calm and increase concentration and optimism.

4. Live Tobacco-free: Consuming tobacco in any form, whether smoked in cigarettes, cigars, hookah, chilam or bidi, or in smokeless form like gutkha, zarda, khaini, kiwam or snuff use is injurious to health. It causes various diseases of the heart, respiratory system (such as tuberculosis), and kidney as well as oral cancer and other malignant disorders. Moreover, it also reduces the sperm count in men. Hence, you should never consume tobacco in any form. 

5. Limit Alcohol Consumption: There is no doubt that alcohol has been widely consumed in India since ages. However, its harmful use has increased in the recent decades since people are taking it in uncontrolled quantities. Excessive alcohol consumption leads to various damage to various organs such as heart, liver, kidney, pancreas, food pipe, throat, and can also cause cancers of breast, kidney and liver.

6. Stay Hydrated: Since 66% of an adult human body is composed of water, it is very crucial to maintain this level of hydration for normal body functioning and metabolism. Not drinking water in sufficient quantities leads to dehydration and puts an adverse impact on health. Hence, it's important to drink 3.7 litres of water for the men and 2.7 litres for the women to avoid dehydration.

7. Get Rid of Stress: No matter how lightly people may take it, but the little bit of stress that you carry everyday inside your head acts as a slow poison that drives you towards cardiovascular illnesses and other health problems. You should get rid of stress by indulging yourself in physical activity and doing meditation. 

8. Practice Yoga & Meditation: Yog or yoga is basically a way of life that makes you eternally healthy and away from diseases and health problems. It involves various exercises that improve your flexibility, muscular strength and blood circulation and boosts your immunity. Meditation is another name for continuous thought. It is a very crucial part of yoga, which helps you improve your focus, reduce stress and helps you be alert. Yoga & Meditation together helps in improving your physical and mental well-being and keeping all health issues at bay.

9. Regularly Monitor Blood Pressure and Sugar level: While you are implementing all the necessary measures to improve your health, it is important to keep regular track of Blood pressure and sugar level.

10. Never Ignore Your Sleep: In today’s workaholic lifestyle, people often forget to get enough sleep at night, which results in hypertension and depression. Hence, you should never ignore your sleep. An average adult should take at least 7 hours of sound sleep at night.

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.

View Our Editorial Policy


+91 verified
Please enter a valid mobile number
Please enter a valid Full Name
I have read and agree to the Terms & Conditions
Please select terms and conditions
Get updates on WhatsApp

Articles By Category

Health Insurance Articles
Family Family
Senior Citizens Senior Citizens
Maternity Maternity
Surgery Surgery
Heart Heart
Tax & Investments Tax & Investments
Lifestyle Lifestyle
Awareness Days Awareness Days
Child Care Child Care
Money Saving Tips Money Saving Tips
Festive Days Festive Days
Covid-19 Covid-19
Travel Insurance Articles
International International
Student Student
Travel Tips Travel Tips
Visa Visa
Passport Passport
Insurance Guide
Health Health
Travel Travel

Secure Your Finances Now!

Get the best financial security with Care Health Insurance!


Reach for Services at
whatApp Icon8860402452


Chat with Us

Please Select Chat Option ×
Buy New policy To explore and buy a new policy
Existing policy enquiry for assistance with your existing policy