Difference between Communicable and Non-communicable diseases

Communicable diseases

What are communicable diseases?

Communicable diseases are those diseases which can be transferred from one individual to another. At times communicable diseases are referred to as transmissible diseases or infectious diseases. Typically, it is caused by pathogens such as viruses and bacteria. For instance, diseases such as AIDS, malaria, dengue etc., are communicable diseases as they can be passed.

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These diseases are communicated by several methods such as touch, intercourse or oral exchange from the infected person, contact with the contaminated subject, surface or object, consuming contaminated food and water, bites from insects that cause such diseases (malaria, for example), or through the air, such as tuberculosis.

Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD)

Non-communicable Disease Definition: The diseases which are not transmitted from one person to another are known as non-communicable diseases (NCD). These are typically some of the allergies, nutrient deficiencies etc. For example, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, etc. A healthy life cycle that involves proper diet, complete sleep, no smoking and maintaining body weight are some of the measures that can improve one’s life quality and prevent these diseases.

Causes of Non-communicable diseases (NCDs)

The main non-communicable diseases are cancers, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and chronic respiratory ailments. Lack of physical activity, metabolism-related abnormalities, sedentary lifestyle and development of some types of cancers are seemingly contributing to being the causatives of NCDs.

A poor, less nutritive diet fails to provide one with the expected nutritional requirements with issues regarding sugar, salt and fat consumption, which lead to the development of non-communicable diseases. Furthermore, consumption of alcohol and tobacco leads to the development of metabolic-related disorders, cancer and lung ailments. Ecosystem factors from unsupportable processes have an impact on the functions of the body and trigger the development of these diseases.

To summarize, gender, age, genetics, smoking, unhealthy diet, inactive lifestyle, exposure to pollution etc., are the factors that can lead to obesity and hypertension. These, in turn, increase the risk of several non-communicable diseases.

Difference between Communicable and Non-communicable diseases

The table below depicts the important differences between communicable and non-communicable diseases.

Communicable Diseases Non-communicable diseases
Diseases spread from one person to another. It can be spread through water, air etc Diseases cannot be transmitted from one to another person
Pathogens that are highly infectious and vectors transmit these diseases Here, the causative are allergies, malnutrition, illness due to internal factors, lifestyle changes, environmental changes, abnormalities in cell proliferation etc
Agent causing infection
Virus, bacteria No agents
Inheritance factor
Cannot be inherited from one generation to another Can be inherited from one generation to another
AIDS, Typhoid, Tuberculosis, Malaria, Cholera Allergies, heart diseases, diabetes
Type of Disease
As it can develop almost immediately, it is acute As it develops over a period of time and lasts for a long, it is chronic
Traditional methods/therapies Surgically or specialized methodologies

These were some important differences between communicable and non-communicable diseases. Explore differences on more topics at BYJU’S for NEET.

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Frequently Asked Questions on Difference between communicable and non-communicable disease


What are communicable diseases?

The diseases which can be spread from one person or animal to the other are communicable diseases. The causative of these diseases are pathogens such as viruses, bacteria etc.


What are non-communicable diseases?

The diseases which do not spread or pass from one person to another are Non-communicable diseases.


List 5 non-communicable diseases.

Non-communicable diseases are those diseases which are not passed from one person to another. Some of the non-communicable diseases are – Diabetes, Cancer, Coronary Artery Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease and cystic fibrosis.


What is the difference between contagious and infectious diseases?

Contagious diseases are those diseases that spread from one person to another through direct or indirect contact whereas infectious diseases are those diseases which are caused by pathogens or infectious agents. The common cold is an example of a contagious disease. Urinary tract infections are infectious diseases.


Name an infectious disease caused by a virus.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease. It is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.


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  2. This information was helpful

  3. Very nice information βœ”οΈπŸ‘πŸ‘