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8 Deadliest Diseases In India

Published On Aug 13, 2021, Updated On Sep 14, 2022

When we talk about life-threatening diseases in the world, many of us start thinking of incurable diseases as they generally grab the headlines. But, apart from them, many more diseases have found their places in the list when we talk of the top life-threatening diseases in India.

The healthcare industry has evolved significantly, but there are still a number of deadly diseases prevalent in India. Some of which have extremely high treatment costs.

However, keeping aside treatment costs, these diseases also have a high effect on an individual’s productivity and hence impair their earning ability. This is why it becomes important to learn about the symptoms, causes, and how we can prevent ourselves from catching them. 

This will help us combat the deadly diseases in an era where our lifestyles are probably not satisfactory. 

Top 8 Deadliest Diseases in India

Here are the 10 Deadliest Diseases in India.

  • Cardiovascular Diseases: 

Cardiovascular diseases are conditions that affect the heart, the most vital organ of human beings. A heart carries all the weight and, thus, is the leading cause of death in India. The major factors that lead to cardiovascular diseases are lifestyle, risk factors, socio-economic changes, and many others. 

Symptoms of Cardiovascular Diseases 

Symptoms vary according to the type of disease. Although the following are some common symptoms of cardiovascular disease:

  1. Shortness of breath
  2. Chest pain
  3. Chest discomfort
  4. Pain in the upper abdomen, neck, back, throat, jaw
  5. Pain or numbness in your arms, and legs

Causes of Cardiovascular Diseases

The top factors that lead to cardiovascular diseases are: 

  1. Tobacco intake
  2. Lack of physical activity
  3. Poor diet
  4. Hereditary
  5. High BP or Cholesterol
  6. Overweight
  7. Family history of CVD

 Preventive Measures and Dietary habits

Generally, you can avoid the risk of having any kind of cardiovascular disease by changing your lifestyle. The following are certain activities that you can do to avoid the risk of cardiovascular disease:

  1. Exercise regularly 
  2. Monitor your weight 
  3. Avoid smoking 
  4. Control your blood pressure 
  5. Keep a check on your cholesterol

Moreover, keep a check on your diet. Eat healthy foods like fish, walnuts, almonds, oats, carrots, sweet potatoes, red peppers, tomatoes, kale, and broccoli. Besides this, increase your intake of fruits such as oranges and papaya, as well as other fruits high in beta-carotene, potassium, magnesium, and fiber.

  • Stroke

A stroke is a condition that occurs when an artery in your brain leaks or gets blocked. Numbness and confusion are some of the common symptoms of stroke. Besides this, some people may also suffer from vision loss and weakness. Read below to learn about the symptoms of stroke in detail. 

Symptoms of Stroke

  1. Sudden weakness or numbness in the face, arm, or leg 
  2. Trouble seeing from one or both the eyes
  3. Severe headache with no known cause
  4. Trouble walking
  5. Sudden confusion, difficulty in speaking or understanding

Causes of Stroke 

Strokes are classified into three types. And, the main reason for a stroke varies according to the type of stroke. However, common causes of stroke are- 

  1. High BP and cholesterol
  2. Diabetes are at higher risk
  3. Smoking
  4. Hemorrhage in the brain
  5. Heart disease
  6. Medications
  7. Genetic disorder

 Preventive Measures and Dietary habits

Changes in lifestyle cannot prevent all strokes. However, many of these changes can make a major difference in lowering your risk of stroke. 

  1. Quit smoking
  2. Control blood pressure
  3. Maintain a healthy lifestyle
  4. Exercise regularly
  5. Limit the intake of alcohol

Moreover, a healthy diet can make a huge difference in preventing strokes. Consume low-fat, high-fiber foods. Include lots of green leafy vegetables, beans, and tomatoes in your diet. Consume fruits, nuts, and seeds, as well as pomegranates, to strengthen your arteries. In addition, consume milk, yoghurt, cheese, and their low-fat alternatives. Click here for more information on stroke.

  • Respiratory Diseases 

Respiratory infections such as lung abscess, acute bronchitis, and pneumonia are the most common and deadly diseases among adults in India. 

Symptoms of Respiratory Diseases 

The most common symptoms of respiratory diseases are-

  1. Nasal congestion
  2. Runny nose
  3. Sneezing
  4. Fever
  5. Cough
  6. Weakness
  7. Shortness of breath lasting for more than a week
  8. Scratchy or sore throat

Causes of Respiratory Diseases 

Smoking and air pollution are the general causes of respiratory diseases among individuals. Besides thesem, various other factors that can lead to respiratory infections are- 

  1. Excessive exposure to smoke or other toxic substances
  2. Low immune functioning
  3. Smoking
  4. Dust
  5. Air pollution
  6. Inappropriate growth of lungs before birth or during childhood

Preventive Measures and Dietary habits

Here’re some of the preventive measures that can be taken to avoid getting infected from respiratory diseases- 

  1. Quit smoking
  2. Exercise regularly 
  3. Stay active
  4. Wear a surgical mask if required
  5. Avoid going to polluted areas

Moreover, include the foods in your diet that will help you build a strong immune system. Increase intake of protein, fruits, and vegetables (red & yellow bell peppers, tomatoes, beetroot, carrot, papaya, and pomegranates provides multiple vitamins and minerals and increases overall immunity). Consume vitamin C-rich foods such as broccoli, oranges, Kiwi, sweet lime, green leafy vegetables, and so on.

  • Tuberculosis 

It is a contagious disease that attacks the lungs but may also affect other parts of the body. However, tuberculosis is both curable and preventable.

Symptoms of Tuberculosis

The most common Tuberculosis symptom lasts for more than three weeks. Other signs and symptoms include:

  1. Fatigue
  2. Coughing up blood
  3. Fever
  4. Chills
  5. Night sweats
  6. Loss of appetite
  7. Unintentional weight loss 

Causes of Tuberculosis

Some of the factors that can lead to tuberculosis are as follows: 

  1. Weakened immune system
  2. Traveling or living in certain areas 
  3. Saliva droplets spreading from person to person when the infected person coughs or sneezes 
  4. Friends and family of the infected person     

Preventive Measures and Dietary habits

Tuberculosis can be avoided by taking the following precautions:

  1. Avoid close contact with people who may be infected, such as in hospitals.
  2. Screening for high-risk individuals
  3. Take vaccination to prevent the disease from spreading. 

Foods for tuberculosis that can help in prevention are bananas, peanuts, cereal porridge, wheat and ragi, mango, orange, sweet pumpkin carrots, amla, guava, tomato, nuts and seeds, whole grain cereals, seeds, nuts, fish and chicken.

  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD is a long-term lung disease that causes the patients difficulty in breathing. COPD is responsible for the deaths of many people all over the world, not just in India.

Symptoms of COPD

The early warning signs and symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are- 

  1. Chest tightness
  2. Lack of energy
  3. Frequent respiratory infections
  4. Swelled ankles, legs or feet
  5. Shortness of breath 
  6. Wheezing 

Causes of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

The main cause of COPD is smoking. However, the other reasons that can lead to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are: 

  1. Smoking or second-hand smoke
  2. Chemical fumes and other lung irritants
  3. Anyone in the family linked to COPD
  4. History of respiratory infections during childhood

Preventive Measures and Dietary habits

To avoid the risk of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, take the following steps:

  • Do not smoke
  • Know your family history
  • Protect yourself against dust, fumes, and chemicals at home or at work
  • Avoid air pollution

Diets for COPD include peas, bran, potatoes with skin, lentils, beans, oats, barley, beets, tomatoes, potatoes, bananas, and oranges. For a higher fat diet, eat avocados,  seeds, nuts, olives and olive oil, coconut and coconut oil, cheese and fatty fish. These foods can help you intake more overall nutrition, especially in the long term.

  • Diabetes 

Diabetes has an impact on insulin production and utilization. Diabetes is classified into two types: Type 1 (in which the pancreas does not produce enough insulin) and Type 2 (in which enough insulin is not produced or cannot be used effectively). Diabetes is a potentially fatal disease. Continue reading to learn about its symptoms, causes, and prevention methods.

Symptoms of Diabetes

Following are the most common symptoms of Diabetes- 

  1. Extreme hunger
  2. Unexplained weight loss
  3. Fatigue
  4. Increased thirst
  5. Frequent urination
  6. Irritability

Causes of Diabetes

Here’re some of the reasons that can cause diabetes among an individual of all age-groups. 

  1. Unhealthy diet
  2. Not exercising regularly
  3. High BP
  4. Obesity
  5. Unhealthy food intake

Preventive Measures and Dietary habits

The risk of diabetes can be avoided by taking the following preventive measures- 

  1. Exercise regularly
  2. Avoid a sedentary lifestyle
  3. Maintain good nutrition
  4. Quit smoking
  5. Add more fiber to your diet and cut sugar

High-fiber, lean protein, fewer processed carbs, low-fat dairy, fruits and vegetables, and healthy vegetable-based fats like nuts, avocado, canola oil, or olive oil comprise the best diabetes diet. It's also a good idea to keep your intake of carbohydrates under control.

  • Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias

With Alzheimer’s disease comes not only loss of memory, but also loss of life in many cases. The progressive disease destroys memory and interrupts activities like thinking, reasoning, etc.  Let's shed some light on the symptoms, causes, and preventative measures-

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease

Some of the common symptoms of Alzheimer are mentioned below- 

  1. Difficulty in completing familiar tasks
  2. Forgetting recently learned information
  3. Misplacing things 
  4. Problems with words in writing or speaking
  5. Poor judgment and decision making
  6. Inability to manage budget

Causes of Alzheimer’s Disease

The following factors may lead to Alzheimer's disease:

  1. Family history
  2. Old age (more than 65 years)
  3. Unhealthy lifestyle
  4. Hereditary
  5. Previous head trauma
  6. Having poor communication with people for a long period

Preventive Measures and Dietary habits

The risk of Alzheimer's disease can be decreased by the actions listed below:

  1. Have a heart-healthy diet (include fruits and veggies in your diet)
  2. Avoid fatty food (Meat, dairy products, olive oil, lean fish, etc.)
  3. Avoid smoking
  4. Control of cardiovascular risk factors

Healthy foods for Alzheimer’s disease include beans, berries, nuts, green and leafy vegetables, whole grains, fish, poultry, olive oil, red meat, butter, cheese.

Read more about Alzheimer’s disease here.

  • Malaria 

Malaria is a fatal disease which is caused by Plasmodium parasite transmission by mosquitoes. People who reside in tropical and subtropical regions, where parasites thrive, are typically affected. Take a look at the disease's signs, causes, and treatments below.

Symptoms of Malaria

Some of the most common symptoms of malaria include the following:

  1. Fever
  2. Muscle pain 
  3. Nausea
  4. Abdominal pain
  5. Headache
  6. Diarrhea, which can be seen within 7 days after you’ve been bitten by an insect 

Causes of Malaria

Malaria is typically transmitted through the bite of an infective female Anopheles mosquito. Only Anopheles mosquitos can transmit malaria, and they must have previously been infected through a blood meal taken from an infectious person.

Preventive Measures and Dietary habits

Malaria can be prevented by taking following steps of precautions against mosquito bites- 

  1. Stay in well-screened areas in the night
  2. Use insect repellent
  3. Opt for full-sleeved clothes
  4. Use bed net while sleeping to get rid of the mosquitoes

Diet for Malaria patients are foods rich in nutrients. Add foods like carrot, papaya, beetroots, fruits especially citrus fruits. Also increase the intake of orange, berries, lemon and other foods that are rich in vitamins B and C to boost immunity. You can also get dal and rice combos, chapattis with sprouts/dals, dairy products, and so on.


When it comes to the deadliest diseases in India, coronavirus (COVID-19) has recently been added to the list. According to the most recent reports, India's COVID-19 death toll surpassed the annual H1N1 toll on April 30. Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause illnesses like the common cold, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). The virus, which originated in China, was identified as the source of a disease outbreak. The coronavirus that has been declared pandemic is also known as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and is the cause of COVID-19, or coronavirus disease. The World Health Organization declared the disease a pandemic in March 2020.

Symptoms of COVID-19

Here’re the common symptoms of COVID-19:

  1. Fever
  2. Cough
  3. Tiredness
  4. Loss of taste or smell

Other symptoms include:

  1. Sore throat
  2. Runny nose
  3. Difficulty in breathing
  4. Chills muscle aches
  5. Chest pain
  6. Pink eye

The symptoms of COVID-19 range from mild to severe. And the list of symptoms is not all-inclusive as there are some symptoms reported too like rash, nausea, vomiting, etc.

Causes of COVID-19 

COVID-19 is caused by the infection with the new coronavirus (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2). As per the data, the virus spreads from one person to another if they are in close contact, which is generally within 6 feet or 2 meters. The virus spreads through respiratory droplets released by infected people when they cough, sneeze, breathe, talk, sing, and so on. The droplets could land in the mouth of someone nearby, infecting them with the virus. In some situations, the virus may also spread when a person inhales the droplets that stay in the air for some time (several minutes or hours), known as airborne transmission. Moreover, it spreads when a person touches a surface that has the virus on it and then touches his/her mouth, nose, or eyes, without washing hands.

Prevention of COVID-19

Following are the precautions that can be taken to prevent COVID-19- 

  1. Avoid close contact with the infected person
  2. Keep yourself at a distance of around 6 feet from others keeping in mind that others may have the infection
  3. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. You can also an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if water and soap are not available
  4. Cover your face with a mask or cloth when in public places
  5. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  6. Do not share dishes, towels, etc. with anyone who is sick
  7. Stay home and avoid going outside if not necessary 

Although the life-threatening diseases we just discussed can be prevented and treated, if supplies are not readily available or if the response is slow, these can lead to death. Furthermore, the best way to reduce the risk of any of these health conditions is to maintain a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet and daily exercise.

Also, refraining from drinking and smoking can be extremely beneficial. Maintaining hygiene and properly washing hands can help reduce or eliminate health risks associated with any type of viral or bacterial infection.

As the risk is high, we should not compromise on the precautionary measures as well, of which buying critical illness coverage is one.

Having a comprehensive health insurance plan assures you good quality treatment in times of emergency. 

Talk to the customer care executives at InsuranceDekho today on the toll-free number 7551196989 and make yourselves prepared for the worst.

Also, Read: 

List Of Widely Spread Critical Illnesses In India

What Is The Role Of TPA In Health Insurance?

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