Non-infectious Intermediate

What Are Non-Infectious Intermediate Diseases?

Non-Infectious Intermediate diseases, also known as “hidden illnesses”, are chronic diseases or conditions that are present but do not manifest symptoms. They often define disorders that involve an underlying cause which remains hidden, but contributes to long-term morbidity and mortality. Some examples include autoimmune diseases, mental-health disorders, and cancers.

Why Are Non-Infectious Intermediate Diseases Important?

Non-Infectious Intermediate diseases are hidden illnesses, often occurring without symptomatology or diagnosis; this fact makes their prevalence particularly concerning. These diseases have a considerable impact on global, public health on both an individual and population level, making it important to continue monitoring their prevalence and risk factors.

Types of Non-Infectious Intermediate Diseases

  • Autoimmune Diseases - These conditions arise when the body's immune system mistakenly attacks its own tissues, such as in rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and type 1 diabetes.
  • Mental-Health Disorders - These disorders, such as depression and anxiety, are common and can have a significant impact on an individual's quality of life. They are still widely underdiagnosed and undertreated.
  • Cancers - Early diagnosis and treatment for these diseases is essential, as they can cause considerable morbidity and mortality if left untreated. This is increasingly possible due to advances in screening and genetic testing.

Risk Factors for Non-Infectious Intermediate Diseases

The exact causes of many non-infectious intermediate diseases are unknown. However, certain modifiable lifestyle behaviours, such as smoking, alcohol consumption, and physical inactivity, can have a major impact on the development of these diseases. In addition, certain genetic disorders, environmental exposure, and medications can all contribute to the development of non-infectious intermediate diseases.

Preventive Measures for Non-Infectious Diseases

  • Maintain a Healthy Diet and Physical Activity Routine: Eating a balanced diet and engaging in regular physical activity can reduce the risk of many non-infectious diseases.
  • Regular Health Check-ups: Regular health checks can help identify early signs of disease, such as blood pressure or blood sugar levels, allowing for potential interventions before a disease progresses.
  • Reduce Substance Use: Minimizing substance use such as smoking, alcohol, and recreational drugs can help mitigate the risks of medical complications.


Non-Infectious Intermediate diseases are hidden illnesses with a significant impact on individual and population health. There are various types of non-infectious diseases, each with their own unique risk factors and preventive measures. It is important to remain aware of these diseases, as early diagnosis and interventions are essential for reducing morbidity and mortality in affected individuals.