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Deadliest Diseases Today
Dec 7, 2023

An Urgent Wake-Up Call: The 7 Deadliest Diseases Today

When it comes to the deadliest diseases, the list can often include non-communicable diseases and chronic conditions that take a considerable amount of time to build up and progress slowly. One thing to keep in mind is that many of these deadly diseases are preventable. By knowing the risk factors and potential prevention methods, one can take certain measures to avoid being affected by these diseases. By having access to good-quality healthcare, many serious diseases can be averted. Having a Health Insurance policy is essential since it provides the financial support needed in such situations.* Along with having health insurance, one must follow certain steps to lower their risk for the following 7 deadliest diseases:

Ischemic heart diseases or Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)

CADs arise when the blood vessels supplying the heart begin to narrow, potentially leading to chest pain, heart failure, and arrhythmias. You can lower your CAD risk via medications, regular exercise, maintaining a balanced weight, eating a low-sodium diet, avoiding smoking, and limiting alcohol intake.


A stroke occurs when a brain artery is blocked or leaks, leading to brain cells being deprived of oxygen and passing away within minutes. A stroke can manifest as sudden numbness, confusion, or difficulty in walking and seeing. If untreated, strokes can result in long-term disability and impairments. Stroke risks can be reduced by following similar preventive measures as those noted for CAD. A word of advice: Since diseases such as strokes can require intensive care and long-term hospitalisation in some cases, it is ideal to have a financial backup for the same. Along with a health insurance plan, one should have a critical illness plan. It provides a lump-sum amount which one can use as they deem fit.* Claims are subject to terms and conditions set forth under health insurance policy.

Lower respiratory infections

These infections target the airways and lungs. The causes can be due to influenza (the flu), pneumonia, bronchitis, and tuberculosis (TB). Some common symptoms of such infections are persistent coughing, which may produce blood-tinged sputum, fever, sweating, chills, breathlessness, wheezing, and a tight chest sensation. The best way to combat the risks of these infections is to get an annual flu shot and vaccination. Regular handwashing with soap and water is also recommended.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Causing a total of 148,512 deaths in 2020, COPD is one of the deadliest diseases today. It is a prolonged lung disease that progresses gradually, causing challenges in breathing. Chronic bronchitis and emphysema are two of its variants. While COPD is presently incurable, its advancement can be reduced with medication. Avoiding smoking (including second-hand smoke) and other lung irritants is also recommended.

Respiratory cancers

These include cancers of the trachea, the bronchus, the larynx, and lung cancer. The primary causes of respiratory cancer are smoking, inhaling second-hand smoke, environmental toxins, and domestic pollutants, such as fuels and mould. Apart from avoiding smoking and irritant fumes, there is no clarity on what can be done to prevent respiratory cancers. Regular check-ups and early diagnosis can help to an extent.


Diabetes refers to a group of diseases that influence insulin production in the human body, leading to a host of related health issues. If not controlled, diabetes can lead to damage of the nerves and blood vessels, even leading to complications, such as kidney failure, blindness, and impairment in the healing of wounds. Diabetes caused an estimated 2 million deaths in 2019 alone. The consequences of diabetes can be avoided or delayed with a proper diet, exercise, medications, and regular check-ups and treatment for complications. Did you know? If you have been recently diagnosed with diabetes, then you must inform your health insurance provider about it when you renew health insurance plan. Having diabetes can affect many elements of your overall health, and hence, your insurer should be made aware of the same.* Claims are subject to terms and conditions set forth under health insurance policy.

Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias

Alzheimer's disease is a progressive condition that deteriorates memory, disrupts decision-making, and impairs typical cognitive functions. This can affect thinking, reasoning, and various everyday behaviours. Alzheimer’s begins with mild memory problems. The person may have difficulty recalling information and may have lapses in recollection. As the disease advances, the individual may lose memory for large time periods. Presently, there is no way to prevent Alzheimer’s. Researchers have not been able to figure out why some people may develop Alzheimer’s and others don’t. A health insurance plan or a critical illness insurance plan can be of help if one is diagnosed with these diseases, depending on the coverage of the plan. It is ideal to look at the list of exclusions of the plan. To get an idea of the premium of the plan that suits your needs, you can use a health insurance calculator.* Claims are subject to terms and conditions set forth under health insurance policy.   *Standard T&C apply. Insurance is the subject matter of solicitation. For more details on benefits, exclusions, limitations, terms, and conditions, please read the sales brochure/policy wording carefully before concluding a sale.

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