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Cold and Flu Center

List of Common Human Diseases

author image Carole Anne Tomlinson
Carole Anne Tomlinson is a registered nurse with experience in rehabilitation, nutrition, chemical dependency, diabetes and health problems related to the elderly. Tomlinson holds a Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice and is presently working on her master's degree in nursing. Her screenplays have been viewed by Merchant Ivory, Angela Lansbury and Steven King's associates.
List of Common Human Diseases
There are many common diseases that can affect a human being.

Disease has always plagued living things. Some diseases are passed from one person to the next through infections such as influenza. Others develop because of environmental problems such as smoking or through cellular mutation. The medical community works to understand and treat all forms of human disease.

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Heart Disease

Heart disease, the Mayo Clinic states, is a general term used for all types of diseases related to the heart. Cardiovascular disease, for example, is a condition that includes blood vessel blockages and artery narrowing. These problems can lead to strokes, angina or chest pain and heart attacks. Other heart diseases—and there are many—include such problems as arrhythmia, in which the heart beats too slow, too fast or irregularly, coronary artery disease and congenital heart defects, among others. The Mayo Clinic reports heart disease as the top killer of adults in the world.


There are many forms of cancer, the second leading cause of death behind heart disease. Whether it is breast cancer, skin cancer, lung cancer or any other form, cancer is characterized by abnormal cells that invade and destroy healthy body tissue. These mutated cells can form tumors that attack specific areas of the body, then spread to other organs.


Types of arthritis include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, ankylosing spondylitis and others. Each has different causes, but all are characterized by inflammation specifically in the joints, according to the National Institutes of Health. The most common form is osteoarthritis, which affects the joints in the lower portion of your back, the neck, hands, knees and hips. Gout typically affects the feet and is caused by a build-up of uric acid that crystallizes. The main symptom of any form of arthritis is pain. There is no cure, but many medications are available to treat the symptoms.


Sexually transmitted diseases include human immunodeficiency virus or HIV, gonorrhea, syphilis and herpes among others. These diseases can affect various areas of the body. For example, gonorrhea can affect your throat, rectum, urethra and, in women, the cervix. These diseases are transmitted almost exclusively via sexual contact. They all are infections for which there are no cures available. There are many medications to treat the symptoms, however.

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a disease that eventually affects nearly everyone as they age, the Mayo Clinic notes. It typically is caused by the constriction of blood vessels, which in turn forces your heart to pump harder to circulate the blood. If it is not treated, it can lead to stroke and heart attack. There are many medications that can effectively treat this serious disease.

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