Cancer, asthma, diabetes, heart disease and stroke are common examples of noncommunicable diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Also known as NCDs, noncommunicable diseases are progressive chronic conditions that are not contagious.
Arthritis, obesity, oral decay and mental illness are other examples of NCDs, the World Medical Association states. NCDs are common among economically disadvantaged populations, and deaths most often occur in low- to middle-income countries lacking adequate health care management.
Every year, NCDs account for 38 million deaths worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. As of 2015, approximately 82 percent of those deaths are caused by the four main types of NCDs: cancers, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases and diabetes. While NCDs can affect anyone, they typically occur before age 70 and are triggered or exacerbated by lifestyle and environmental factors, such as poor diet, lack of physical activity and exposure to tobacco smoke.
Although genetics contribute to the development of NCDs, these conditions and related fatalities are usually considered preventable or manageable, the World Medical Association explains. As a result, health organizations around the world collaborate on global strategies for identifying NCD risk factors, providing equal access to health care and educating the public on healthy lifestyles. These organizations also evaluate patterns between NCDs, socio-economic status, occupational environments and lifestyle factors to help doctors develop the most effective methods of preventative care, such as promoting full-body mental and physical wellness through primary care physicians.