Health and Disease


Health is the complete state of physical and mental and social well-being. However, we don’t just say that people are either healthy or unhealthy. The health of an individual falls on a spectrum, with some people being more or less healthier than others, in different ways.

There are many factors that affect the health of individuals, such as:

  • Getting enough exercise
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Eating a balanced diet
  • Access to good healthcare
  • Not being too stressed out

So the more we don’t do or have these things, the unhealthier we become.


Diseases can be grouped into communicable diseases and non-communicable diseases.

Communicable Disease

Communicable diseases are caused by pathogens (such as bacteria, fungi, viruses or parasites), which can be passed from one person (or animal) to another. We often call these infectious diseases.

Some examples of communicable diseases are:

  • The common cold
  • Chickenpox
  • Meningitis

Non-communicable Disease

Non-communicable diseases are not caused by pathogens and they can not be spread between different people. They also tend to be long-lasting, some of which never go away.

Some examples of non-communicable diseases are:

  • Asthma
  • Coronary heart disease (CHD)
  • Diabetes
  • Most cancers

Interactions between Different Types of Disease

Sometimes, different types of diseases interact with each other. This can negatively impact an individual physically and mentally, causing issues that might not seem related.

Below are some examples:

  • When a person has a weakened immune system, they are less able to defend themselves against communicable diseases. This often leads to them catching infectious diseases, such as the common cold or influenza (flu).
  • When an individual has a mental illness, this can lead to physical problems, especially involving the immune system. The person is also more likely to make lifestyle decisions that harm their health even more. These lifestyle decisions can include neglecting sleep and hygiene, and avoiding going out to socialise with other people.
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) can cause cervical cancer in women by infecting cells of the cervix.
  • At times, the immune system can overreact while trying to get rid of a pathogen. It can end up harming the body’s tissues in the process, triggering allergies such as rashes or asthma.