Top 10 Most Common Diseases

With a world population so diverse, it can be difficult to pinpoint the most prevalent threats to personal and global health. It can, however, be good to know about possible risks in order to implement correct policies. What are the 10 most common diseases? While it may vary by specific population, here’s a countdown of the top ten diseases according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

  • Cirrhosis: This is a disease of the liver. It has been linked to prolonged alcohol abuse and viruses that attack the liver, such as hepatitis.
  • Tuberculosis: Also known as TB, this is a contagious yet treatable bacterial infection. With a global eradication goal of 2030, there is a currently a working vaccine for this lung condition.
  • Diarrheal Diseases: Diarrheal diseases remain a major crisis in areas with poor sanitation. They are also the second top cause of young child mortality in the world.
  • Alzheimer’s Disease: This is a progressive disease categorized by increased memory loss over time. Most often associated with age, it’s unknown if Alzheimer’s Disease is preventable by healthy habits.
  • Diabetes: A widespread global health issue, diabetes can be linked to behavioral risk factors related to obesity and poor nutrition. Without access to medical care, diabetes patients can suffer blindness or even heart and renal failure.
  • Respiratory Cancer: Respiratory cancers such as lung or trachea cancer occur in smokers or people exposed to air pollutants. They are especially prevalent in developing countries with few industrial regulations.
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): A chronic and progressive lung disease, COPD predominantly affects those with a history of exposure to air pollution or tobacco smoke. It can be severely debilitating and lead to a gradual breakdown of quality of life.
  • Lower Respiratory Infections: When respiratory viruses go untreated, they can settle in your lungs as lower respiratory infections. These are especially dangerous for those with vulnerable immune systems, such as the very young and the elderly.
  • Stroke: A stroke affects the arteries in your brain and can occur without warning. Signs of a stroke include numbness on one side, confusion, and loss of vision. If not treated immediately, this can result in permanent disability.
  • Heart Disease: Also known as coronary artery disease, this is the number one most common fatal disease. Risk factors for heart disease include tobacco use and obesity, though it can also run in the family.

When it comes to the top ten most common diseases, many of them are related to poor health choices. With access to good hygiene, abstinence from tobacco and alcohol products, and commitment to healthy diet and exercise, these risk factors are dramatically reduced.