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Non-Communicable Diseases UPSC NOTE

 What are non-communicable diseases?

  • Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), also known as chronic diseases, tend to be of long duration and are the result of a combination of genetic, physiological, environmental and behavioural factors.

  • The main types of NCD are 

    • Cardiovascular diseases (such as heart attacks and stroke).

    • Cancers

    • Chronic respiratory diseases (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma).

    • Diabetes

  • NCDs disproportionately affect people in low- and middle-income countries, where more than three quarters of global NCD deaths (31.4 million) occur.

  • 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 and can lead to cardiovascular disease, the leading NCD in terms of premature deaths.


  • Diabetes is a chronic (long-lasting) health condition that affects how your body turns food into energy.

  • Your body breaks down most of the food you eat into sugar (glucose) and releases it into your bloodstream. 

  • When your blood sugar goes up, it signals your pancreas to release insulin. 

  • Insulin acts like a key to let the blood sugar into your body’s cells for use as energy.

  • With diabetes, your body doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use it as well as it should. 

Non-Communicable Diseases


  • When there isn’t enough insulin or cells stop responding to insulin, too much blood sugar stays in your bloodstream. 

  • Over time, that can cause serious health problems, such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease.

Types of Diabetes:

  • There are three main types of diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes (diabetes while pregnant).

Types of Diabetes:

Type 1 Diabetes

  • Type 1 diabetes is thought to be caused by an autoimmune reaction (the body attacks itself by mistake). 

  • This reaction stops your body from making insulin. 

  • Approximately 5-10% of the people who have diabetes have type 1. 

  • It’s usually diagnosed in children, teens, and young adults. 

  • Currently, no one knows how to prevent type 1 diabetes.

Types of Diabetes:

Type 2 Diabetes

  • With type 2 diabetes, your body doesn’t use insulin well and can’t keep blood sugar at normal levels. 

  • About 90-95% of people with diabetes have   type 2. 

  • It develops over many years and is usually diagnosed in adults (but more and more in children, teens, and young adults).

  • Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed with healthy lifestyle changes, such as: Losing weight, Eating healthy food, Being active.

Types of Diabetes:

Gestational Diabetes

Blood Pressure (BP)

  • Blood pressure is the measurement of the pressure or force of blood inside your arteries.

  • Each time your heart beats, it pumps blood into arteries that carry blood throughout your body.

  • This happens 60 to 100 times a minute, 24 hours a day. 

  • Arteries deliver oxygen and nutrients to your whole body so it can function.

High blood pressure:

  • High blood pressure — the “silent killer” — usually has no symptoms. 

  • It can damage your heart, kidneys and brain before you know anything is wrong.

  • High blood pressure is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. 

  • Without treatment, high blood pressure can cause:

    • Transient ischemic attack (TIA).

    • Stroke.

    • Heart attack.

    • Enlarged heart, Heart failure.

    • Peripheral artery disease.

    • Aneurysms.

    • Kidney disease.

    • Broken blood vessels in your eyes.


  • Hypertriglyceridemia is defined as serum triglyceride concentrations of 150 mg/dL (1.7 mmol/L) or higher in the blood. 

  • High levels of triglycerides can be one of the signs of metabolic syndrome, which increases the risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

  • Extremely high levels (1,000 mg/dL or more) of triglycerides can lead to acute pancreatitis.

Burden of this diseases in certain states

  • The results of an Indian Council of Medical Research–India Diabetes (ICMR-INDIAB) study published recently in The Lancet show concerning levels of diabetes, hypertension, abdominal obesity and hypertriglyceridemia in India.

  • Much high levels of disease prevalence were observed across the rural and urban regions of many States.

  • Uttar Pradesh

    • Diabetes was relatively low in rural area (0-4.9%), 

    • Relatively high prevalence of hypertriglyceridemia (≥25%) and abdominal obesity (≥25%).

  • Gujarat, diabetes prevalence was relatively low (5-7.4%) whereas hypertension prevalence was relatively high (≥30%).

  • Kerala, West Bengal, Sikkim and Goa, - In these States, there was relatively high prevalence of diabetes (>10%), hypertension (≥30%), abdominal obesity (≥25%) and hypertriglyceridemia (≥20%).



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Non-Communicable Diseases UPSC NOTE
Non-Communicable Diseases UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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