Non-communicable Disease (NCD)



Non-communicable Disease(s) (NCD)

In the definition of WHO, non-communicable disease (NCD) is a preventable disease through lifestyle modification of the common causes such as unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, tobacco use and excessive alcohol use.

For a narrow definition, it consist of cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and chronic respiratory disease. There is yet to be a formal agreement if mental illness and trauma should be added into the group of NCD although the issues had been widely discussed.

Non-communicable disease is often referred as NCDs, chronic illness or lifestyle disease.

Cardiovascular Disease

Disease affecting the heart, brain, blood pressure and blood vessels.

(e.g.) Cardiovascular disease (heart failure, angina pectoris, myocardial infarction, valvular heart disease, cardiomyopathy, arrhythmia, arteriosclerosis, hypertension, etc.)

Stroke (cerebral hemorrhage, cerebral infarction, subarachnoid hemorrhage, and transient ischemic attack)

Chronic Respiratory Disease (CRD)

Non-communicable chronic disease that affects the respiratory tract or other lung tissue.

Asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), bronchiectasis, chronic sinusitis, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, lung cancer, pulmonary fibrosis, pleural disease, pneumoconiosis, pulmonary infiltration with eosinophilia, cor pulmonale, pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary embolism, allergic rhinitis, sarcoidosis, and sleep apnea syndrome.

Infectious disease/Communicable Disease; CD

Disease caused by the invasion of microorganisms.

e.g. hepatitis, HIV / AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis.

lifestyle-related disease

A disease associated with lifestyle, e.g. diabetes, stroke, heart disease, dyslipidemia, hypertension, obesity etc.

chronic disease

A general term for persisting diseases that progress slowly and take a long time to heal, e.g. heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, tuberculosis and diabetes etc. It is also referred as chronic illness.

Page Top

Relevant Policy and Treaty



Healthy Japan 21

The Third national health promotional campaign started by the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare in 2000.

Lifestyle disease can be prevented through modifying the living habits that causes the disease.

Instead of secondary prevention such as early detection or early treatment, emphasis should be put on primary prevention measures to prevent the occurrence of disease.

The measurable numerical targets were set in nine areas in 2012.

Improve of self-management skills, regular management and support from experts and the promotion of public awareness and information management by health centers are the three major pillars that are set as measurements to reach the target.

※ nine areas: health, nutrition, diet, exercise, physical activity, mental health, recreation, tobacco, alcohol, dental health, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer

Local Health Planning

In each prefecture, healthcare plans were formulated in line with the basic policy that was set by the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare to ensure the healthcare delivery system in individual prefecture in response to the local circumstance.

They focus on the assessment of the amount of health care (number of beds) and quality assessment of medical care(medical healthcare collaboration and safety) , promotion of the differentiation and the collaboration of different medical function (“medical cooperation”) , setting of numerical targets according to local circumstances, and implementing the policy cycle of PDCA.

In addition, 「4 diseases and 5 targeted healthcare」are issues set for priority action

※ 4 diseases: cancer, stroke, heart disease, diabetes

※ 5 targeted healthcare: emergency healthcare, disaster healthcare, local community healthcare, perinatal healthcare, pediatric health care ( including pediatric emergency healthcare)

Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC)

The treaty to protect the present and future generations in the areas of health, social, environment and economy from the harm exposed by tobacco use and the tobacco smoke.

The contracting parties/the countries that signed the treaty are required to take serious measures on tobacco smuggling and apply restrictions on tobacco advertising and sales to reduce tobacco consumption. The treaty was unanimously adopted by the World Health Organization (WHO) at the 56th annual meeting on May 21, 2003 and the first international treaty in the field of public health came into force on 27 February 2005.

UN Summit Political Declaration on NCDs

The High-Level Meeting "UN Summit" held at UN Headquarters in New York, USA held on Sep 18-20, 2011 declared their agreement in adopting a global strategy to combat the non-communicable diseases such as cancers through International corporations.

Page Top

Relevant Organization



Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW)

The administrative agency in Japan that ensures “improvement of the quality of people’s life” and “economic development” through comprehensive and integrated efforts in improvement of social welfare, social security, and public health, improvement of the working environment, development of human resources and security.

It also focus on promoting social security policy and labor policy in corresponding to the issues of decreasing birthrate and aging of the population, gender equality, and changes in economic structure.

World Health Organization (WHO)

The specialized International organization, which was established within the terms of the World Health Charter (Charter of the United Nations) adopted by the International Health Conference 1946 held in New York (effective April 07, 1948). It was declared that objective of the World Health Organization (Article 1 of the Charter) shall be the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health. The main working organizations are World Health Assembly, the Executive Board and the Regional Organization (Secretariat).

(in reference to the basic document of the Constitution of WHO,

World Health Assembly (WHA)

The World Health Assembly is the decision-making body of WHO. It is attended by delegations from all WHO Member States(comprised of 193 WHO Member States and 2 joining states on Jan 2009) and focuses on a specific health agenda prepared by the Executive Board. The main functions of the World Health Assembly are to determine the policies of the Organization, appoint the Director-General, supervise financial policies, and review and approve the proposed programme budget. The Health Assembly is held annually in May at Geneva, Switzerland. (extracted from WHO website)

Page Top