Non-Infectious Diseases

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Non-Infectious Diseases

Basics
* Non-infectious diseases (NIDs) are diseases NOT caused by a pathogen. They are also referred to as non-communicable diseases (NIDs). * Ex. include cancer, Parkinson’s and asthma.
* A variety of causes contribute to NIDs including genetics, lifestyle choices, and nutrition. Two types of NIDs
* NIDs are divided into 2 main groups:
* Genetic diseases are caused by mutations in DNA or conditions affecting chromosomes. * Environmental diseases are caused by avoidable and unavoidable environmental factors. * Many diseases, such as cancer, are believed to be caused by genetic and environmental factors. Genetic Diseases

* Many diseases/conditions are caused by genetic conditions. * Down’s syndrome is caused by an extra copy of chromosome 21 * Cystic Fibrosis is caused by a mutation on the X chromosome Environmental Diseases

* Environmental diseases are cause by a variety of factors, some of which are avoidable, like a high fat diet, and others which are not, like various forms of radiation. * Heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and obesity are all cause in part by avoidable factors. * Skin cancer is caused almost exclusively by overexposure to the sun. Multiple Factors

* Some diseases are clearly linked to both environmental and genetic factors. * Cancer is the most well known of such diseases.
* Some types of cancer are almost exclusively caused by environmental factors (skin), others by genetics (breast) while others have an unclear mixture of the two (lung). Treatment of NIDs
* The majority of NIDs cannot be ‘cured’ but often the can be treated and the effects of their symptoms can be maintained. * The combination of genetic and environmental causes makes diseases like cancer incomprehensibly difficult to cure. * Conditions like Down’s syndrome are present in every cell of the body and are likewise very difficult to treat or cure. Preventing NIDs

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