Common Diseases in MontenegroLocated in southeastern Europe, just between Serbia and the Adriatic Sea, lies the small nation of Montenegro. The former member of Yugoslavia has only been independent since 2006, and is still transitioning into a market economy. Here are the most common diseases in Montenegro:

Ischemic Heart Disease
A condition characterized by narrowed heart arteries, thus reducing blood flow to the heart, ischemic heart disease can ultimately result in unexpected heart attack. Also known as coronary artery disease, ischemic heart disease was assessed to be the most fatal of the common diseases in Montenegro in 2005. By 2015, it was still the most fatal, but the prevalence of deaths by the disease had fortunately decreased by seven percent.

Cerebrovascular Disease
Cerebrovascular disease refers to any disease affecting blood flow to the brain. Such disorders often result in aneurysms, carotid stenosis, intracranial stenosis, vertebral stenosis, stroke and vascular malformations. In 2015, cerebrovascular disease was the second most fatal common disease in Montenegro, and had been for the past decade. However, the disease had unfortunately increased in prevalence by 4.8 percent within those 10 years.

Lung Cancer
A type of cancer beginning in the lungs, lung cancer can cause a person to cough up blood, experience chronic fatigue, have recurrent respiratory problems and lose weight unexpectedly, among other effects. Smoking is cited as a high risk factor for developing lung cancer. In 2005, lung cancer was the third most fatal of the common diseases in Montenegro. In 2015, it remains so, but the prevalence of deaths by the disease has decreased by 1.3 percent.

The government of Montenegro has been attempting to address the issue of smoking for years. In 2004, Montenegro made it illegal to advertise smoking, to smoke in public or even to portray smoking on Montenegrin television. In addition, the Montenegrin National CVD Prevention Coordinator introduced a “Healthy Lifestyles” subject in schools. Hopefully, Montenegrin government will continue to address the most common diseases in Montenegro through responsible reforms and policies.

Shannon Golden

Photo: Flickr

Common Diseases in Ireland Non-Communicable
With a population of 4.773 million, Ireland is an island country located west of Great Britain. Like in many other developed countries, noncommunicable diseases top the list of leading causes of death and disability. Discussed below are the common diseases in Ireland and their implications.


4 Most Common Diseases in Ireland


Cardiovascular and Respiratory Diseases
Ischemic heart disease is the leading cause of death in the country, and, in 2012, it was associated with eight percent of all fatalities. Heart attacks, strokes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) together make up another 16 percent of all fatalities. Eighty percent of these deaths, however, are preventable with increased awareness and prevention efforts. The Irish Heart Foundation recommends that citizens stop smoking, improve eating habits, including consuming more fruits and vegetables, increase exercise to at least 30 minutes five times per week and attend regular physical check-ups for blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

Thirty percent of all deaths in Ireland are associated with cancer, the second most common killer in the country. There are over 9,000 deaths per year in Ireland that stem from cancer. The most common cancers are lung, breast, colon, prostate and skin. Lung cancer alone is the third leading cause of death, and, in 2012, was responsible for the deaths of 1,801 people, six percent of all fatalities. Breast cancer and colon cancer combined cause another four percent of total fatalities. The Irish Cancer Society wants people to be aware that four out of ten cancers can be prevented through better lifestyle choices such as not smoking, eating healthier, monitoring weight, watching alcohol intake and exercising.

Mental Health Disorders
Self-harm is another leading cause of death in the country. Depression, which is often connected to suicide, is a common mental health disorder in Ireland. It is estimated that at least one in five people will suffer from depression in their lifetime. Ireland is fourth in the world for suicide rates of young men ages 18 to 24, which may, in part, be due to the recent recession. Awareness and response are key to fighting depression and suicide rates in the country. There are many depression and mental health organizations in Ireland such as The Samaritans and Aware.

Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease
Every year, about 4,000 new cases of dementia are identified in Ireland. There are about 47,744 people in Ireland living with dementia, 30,359 of which are women and 17,385 of which are men. This number is expected to drastically increase over the next few decades due to population aging. A big problem is the lack of awareness and knowledge about the diseases as well as the stigma surrounding them. For example, people often believe that memory loss is a natural part of aging, although this may not be true. Better awareness and recognition of these diseases in Ireland can increase the support available for patients. To help ensure proper representation, in 2013, the Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland established the Irish Dementia Working Group to guarantee involvement with dementia patients and their families and to influence necessary public policy.

Because the majority of common diseases in Ireland are noncommunicable, awareness and education are key factors to help to best represent current patients and to help prevent future diagnosis. Making better and healthier lifestyle choices are especially important to help prevent and fight these diseases.

Francesca Montalto

Photo: Flickr

Six Most Common Diseases in MoroccoThe North African country of Morocco is currently home to more than 33.5 million individuals, many of whom fall victim to various food, waterborne and vectorborne diseases. The following list compiles some of the most common diseases in Morocco:

  • Hepatitis A interferes with the functioning of the liver and spreads through consumption of food contaminated with fecal matter. Similarly, hepatitis E affects the liver through fecal contamination of drinking water. While these types of diseases are often a result of poor sanitation, vaccines are available for treatment.
  • Typhoid fever is another one of several severe and common diseases in Morocco, characterized as a bacterial disease spread through contact with food or water contaminated by fecal matter or sewage.
  • Schistosomiasis is a water contact disease caused by the parasitic trematode flatworm Schistosoma. The larval form of the parasite penetrates the skin of people exposed to contaminated water, allowing worms to mature and reproduce in the blood vessels, liver, kidneys and intestines and ultimately manifest as either urinary or intestinal issues.
  • Leishmaniasis is an infection caused by Leishmania parasites, spread by sandflies. The vector-borne disease has become increasingly prevalent in Morocco as a major public health threat, affecting nearly two million people annually.
  • Malaria is transmitted via the bite of a mosquito. Parasites quickly spread in the liver and attack red blood cells, resulting in flu-like symptoms of fever, chills and, if left untreated, sometimes death. Malaria certainly falls under the list of common diseases in Morocco, as 90 percent of cases occur in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Yellow fever is a mosquito-borne viral disease and ranges in its severity. While the disease’s fatality rate is less than 20 percent, some may experience severe hepatitis and hemorrhagic fever.

A large number of deaths over the years due to common diseases in Morocco can be overwhelming and make solutions seem nearly impossible. However, it is important to recognize improvements that have been made in areas of sanitation and medical implementation while still remaining aware of those at risk.

Mikaela Frigillana

Photo: Flickr

Common Diseases in PeruHome to 11 ecological regions, Peru, the third largest country in South America, has made a major effort to control and prevent diseases. The efforts are critical for Peru’s vulnerable population of 32 million.

One of the most common diseases in Peru is dengue fever. A viral infection transmitted through mosquito bites, dengue fever initially has no symptoms. However, within a week of being bitten by an infected mosquito, individuals will display flu-like symptoms for which there are no antiviral treatments available. While dengue can prove deadly, Peru has actively been fighting the disease. In response to a May 2017 outbreak induced by flooding, the nation mobilized soldiers to distribute aid and health supplies, and set up mobile clinics to treat individuals. In this sense, they did much to support their citizens in preventing and eliminating the disease.

Another common disease in Peru is Zika virus. Although Peru declared a 90-day health emergency throughout 11 states in response to Zika in 2016, their allocation of nearly $6 million has helped reduce the epidemic. Unlike many nations throughout South America, Peru was reduced from a “high risk” area to a “minimal risk” area. The efforts to eliminate Zika have thereby proven at least partially successful.

Finally, typhoid fever—a bacterial disease spread via contact with food or water contaminated by feces or sewage—persists throughout Peru. With mortality rates reaching as high as 20 percent when left untreated, typhoid fever remains a disease which must be combated. While the mortality rate of typhoid fever rose between 1990 and 2013, the nation continues to dedicate resources intended to eliminate the disease.

Though these are not the only common diseases in Peru (others include bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, malaria, and Bartonellosis), their persistence throughout Peruvian society demands global attention. By helping fund efforts to terminate these illnesses, the United States can ultimately help ensure that the citizens of Peru continue to thrive and succeed.

Emily Chazen

Photo: Flickr

Common Diseases in Iran
Iran, one of the largest countries in the Middle East, has a population of just more than 82 million. Although 92% of the population has access to clean drinking water and 90% of the population has access to sanitation facilities, Iran suffers from a number of common and prevalent diseases. Common diseases in Iran are transmitted through mosquitos or contaminated food or water.

Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever
Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever is the most widespread tick-borne viral disease of humans throughout the world, according to research done at the University of Texas Medical Branch. The first case of a human diagnosis was discovered in 1999. Since then it has been classified as a “viral zoonotic disease” which is endemic in Iran. Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever can be transmitted through the bite of a tick or contact with infected animal blood or tissues.

The disease is most commonly found among agricultural and slaughterhouse workers. Early-onset symptoms can include sudden fever, headache and muscle aches. As the disease progresses patients display hemorrhaging in the bowels, urine, nose and gums. The mortality rate for Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever is approximately 30 percent.

Typhoid fever
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 26 million cases of typhoid fever are reported annually worldwide. Human contact is the sole source of the infectious bacteria, transmitting the disease through contact with fecal matter through the consumption of contaminated food or water. The most common symptom is a sustained high fever, and if untreated, the mortality rate can be 20%. Typhoid fever has caused major public health problems over the course of the last five decades in Iran. Luckily, as a result of development throughout the country, the number of cases has drastically declined.

In 2015, the World Health Organization estimated there had been 13,000 cases of tuberculosis throughout Iran. The tuberculosis-specific bacteria most commonly affect the lungs but are known to spread throughout the body to areas such as the kidneys, spine and brain. The disease is spread through air contact with an infected individual. People near the infected person may breathe in the bacteria and become infected. Often the bacteria will lay dormant, not showing any signs or symptoms within the infected person but will still be able to spread to those around them.

Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends being vaccinated for hepatitis A and hepatitis B before traveling to the Middle East, due to it being one of the most common diseases in Iran. Hepatitis A, a liver disease, spread by consuming contaminated food or water, can cause fever, tiredness, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain and yellowing of the eyes. Hepatitis B is a contagious virus, transmitted through blood and other bodily fluids. Similar symptoms are seen as with hepatitis A.

In research conducted in 2009, in mid-endemic areas, such as Iran, the lifetime risk of hepatitis B infection is 20-60% across all age-groups. A vaccine was introduced in Iran through a National Immunization Program in 1993, required for all individuals under 18 years old. Despite efforts, hepatitis A and hepatitis B remain common diseases in Iran.

Iran’s population is categorized in the CIA World Factbook of having an “intermediate risk” of contracting an infectious disease. With focused programs from government and international organizations, some of this risk can be mitigated and the population can move toward universal prosperity.

Riley Bunch

Photo: Flickr

Common Diseases in the Dominican Republic
With places like Punta Cana, it is no wonder that the Dominican Republic is a popular tourist destination. The Dominican Republic appears to have everything, from sandy beaches to high mountain peaks. The beautiful landscape of the Dominican Republic may set it apart from other countries, but like the rest of the world, it is not immune to medical issues. Here are three of the most common diseases in the Dominican Republic:

1. Schistosomiasis

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), schistosomiasis spreads through parasitic worms that are in infested water. People in poorer communities are more vulnerable to this disease because they are more likely to drink from or bathe in contaminated waters. Symptoms of intestinal schistosomiasis involve abdominal pain and diarrhea. The main symptom of urogenital schistosomiasis is blood in the urine. In the Dominican Republic, intestinal schistosomiasis is the most common form of the disease.

Fortunately, taking Praziquantel, an anti-parasite medication, for a few days can treat schistosomiasis. Since there is only a limited amount of the prescription drug available, the WHO has been advocating for more access to the medication. With increased Praziquantel availability, more people that have schistosomiasis are being treated.


As the Caribbean country with the second most reported HIV cases, it is clear that HIV is a problem in the Dominican Republic. However, that doesn’t mean that the country’s health officials and government aren’t working on fixing it.

Out of all of the countries that comprise the Caribbean and Latin America, only eight have needle and syringe programs (NSPs), and the Dominican Republic is one of them. NSPs provide people who inject drugs with sterile needles and syringes. Since HIV can be transmitted through unsanitary needles and syringes, NSPs help reduce the risk of contracting HIV.

Although there is no cure for HIV/AIDS yet, there is a significant amount of research being done to find one. Recently, researchers successfully edited the genomes of infected mice, in which they eliminated most of the disease from the animals. Although genome editing is more complicated when humans are involved, there is still a possibility of it being successful.

 In addition to NSPs reducing HIV/AIDS transmission and research being done to find a cure, there are also ways to control the disease. People with HIV can take antiretroviral therapy (ART) to slow down the progression of the disease.

3. Malaria

The Anopheles mosquito transmits malaria. Symptoms of the disease include chills and high fever. Malaria treatment is all about timing. If detected early, it can be treated with antimalarial medication. However, the disease can be fatal if it goes unnoticed and untreated.

In 2015 alone, malaria caused 438,000 deaths worldwide. While that number is very large, it is actually a decrease from the estimated 584,000 malaria deaths in 2013. In the Dominican Republic, indoor residual spraying (IRS) of insecticides is used to kill disease-spreading mosquitos, which helps prevent initial infection.

Although these three diseases are some of the most common diseases in the Dominican Republic, there are others. Many different organizations are working toward the mutual goal of eliminating both uncommon and common diseases in the Dominican Republic.

Raven Rentas
Photo: Flickr

Common Diseases in GreeceGreece is a small nation in the south of Europe, full of history and culture. A large portion of the tradition in Greece resides in the food they make for their family and friends and spending time together. While these activities are common to the Mediterranean country, many of these people’s habits are also what cause their most common illnesses. Here are the top five common diseases in Greece:

1. Cardiovascular Disease

The number one cause of death in Greece in 2014, cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) affect millions of people annually, worldwide. CVDs are common killers in low- and middle-income countries, such as Greece. These diseases come in many forms. Some examples include eart disease, heart failure, arrhythmia and heart valve problems. The causes of CVDs vary, but they often connect to lifestyle choices such as an unhealthy diet, lack of physical exercise, tobacco use and harmful use of alcohol.

2. Cancer

While cancer comes in many forms and affects Grecians differently, the most prevalent among them is lung cancer. Lung cancer has become the leading cause of cancer-related deaths for men and women around the world, often being found once it is in a very developed stage. In recent years, doctors have begun to develop early screenings for people who they believe are at a high risk of developing the cancer. Lung cancer is one of the more preventable cancers, often caused by large amounts of exposure to smoke.

3. Alzheimer’s and other Dementias

In 2013, 1.77 percent of the Greek population suffered from dementia. Additionally, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. Dementia is a disease that affects memory loss and other cognitive abilities, which make everyday living difficult. Dementia is not a normal part of aging, but it can reveal itself as people start to reach 65 years of age or older. While there is currently no cure for the disease, there are medicines and treatments that help with symptoms.

4. Chronic Respiratory Diseases

Another one of the common diseases in Greece, chronic respiratory diseases affect thousands of people every year. The disease can come in many forms, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma and occupational lung diseases. These diseases are often due to behavioral or environmental forces such as tobacco smoke, air pollution, occupational chemicals and dust.

5. Diabetes

Approximately 7.5 percent of Greece’s population suffers from diabetes. The disease can come in two forms, type one and type two. Type 1 diabetes is normally diagnosed in childhood, whereas type 2 is diagnosed later on in adulthood. Type two diabetes is the most common form of diabetes found in those afflicted and is often the result of behavioral choices, such as eating habits.

These common diseases in Greece are just some of the many illnesses that the population deals with. While many of these afflictions often lead to fatality, they are often preventable by living a healthy and active lifestyle.

Olivia Hayes

Photo: Flickr

Common Diseases in Iceland
Iceland is a country with a small population of about 338,000, making the nation ideal for medical research. Due to a long period of isolation, natives are genetically similar. This means that identifying common diseases in Iceland is simple.

Below are the three most common diseases in Iceland according to the most current global health statistics.

  1. The number one cause of death in Iceland is Coronary Heart Disease (CHD). CHD is “caused by damage or inflammation of the blood vessels that supply the heart.” The result is a narrowing of the blood vessels that slows or prevents blood from reaching the heart. Per 100,000 people in Iceland, about 139 people die annually from CHD. It also contributes to “1,696 annual years of healthy life lost per 100,000 people.”CHD persists in Iceland due to a poor diet that contributes to 87% of the total deaths caused by the disease. Since 1990, the average years of healthy life lost due to CHD has dropped by 42%. This is most likely due to continued research on CHD and the promotion of a healthier diet.
  2. Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is the number two cause of death in Iceland. AD is the most common form of dementia, which is the loss of memory and other important cognitive functions. AD is mainly caused by genetic predisposition, though many think of it as a normal part of aging. The disease worsens over time so that memory loss increases gradually over many years. The number of people with AD globally is increasing as more people live past the age of 65. In Iceland, AD-caused fatalities increased by 16.9% between 2005 and 2015. Iceland is more susceptible to AD because of its small population and limited genetic diversity. This population also makes it ideal for genetic study towards curing diseases like this. A genetics firm named deCODE based in Iceland has already sequenced the genomes of 2,636 inhabitants working towards this goal. Utilizing their genetic research, scientists have identified two genes, TM2D3 and ABCA7, that are risk factors for AD. Moving forward this information could be utilized to help end AD worldwide.
  3. After cerebrovascular disease, a cardiovascular disease, lung cancer is the fourth leading cause of death in Iceland. Not just one of the common diseases in Iceland, lung cancer is one of the most common cancers worldwide. A majority of lung cancer cases are caused by smoking tobacco products. In Iceland, tobacco smoke is the second-ranking risk factor that “drives the most death and disability.”Iceland joined the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on Feb. 27, 2005, in an attempt to combat this. Since then, Iceland has established smoke-free public places, banned most tobacco advertising and required warnings on tobacco products.

The three most common diseases in Iceland are also common to most developed nations, including the United States. Placing more attention on global health will be important in preventing and curing these diseases through collaboration and collective research.

Haley Hurtt

Photo: Google

Diseases in Romania
Romania is a Balkan country bordering the Black Sea. Romania was under communist rule from World War II until 1989. The healthcare system in Romania faces corruption and a lack of medical professionals. Three of the most common diseases in Romania are measles, HIV/AIDS and cirrhosis.

  1. MeaslesThere is a current outbreak of measles in Romania. So far the virus has upward of 3,400 new cases. Symptoms of measles are a high fever, cough, runny nose and a red rash. The fever will break and the rash subsides after a few days. Measles is highly contagious; if one person has it, 90% of people who are close to that initial person but not immune will become infected. The virus is spread through coughing and sneezing. The virus spread through Romania because there is a suboptimal vaccination rate. Doctors hope that a community will have a vaccination rate of 95% to create immunity. Unfortunately, the measles vaccination rate in Romania has decreased in recent years to 86% in 2015. The Romanian government is working swiftly to decrease this risk. The government lowered the vaccination age from 12 months to nine months and distributed leaflets in doctor’s offices about the importance of vaccination and early symptoms. In addition, the government is attempting to pass a law mandating the vaccination of children before they enter school.
  2. HIV/AIDSMany people in Romania are infected with HIV/AIDS. Since 1985, 21,263 Romanians have been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. Heterosexual unprotected sex was the main method of HIV transmission in new cases in 2015 (59% of new cases). The number of new cases of HIV/AIDS decreased slightly in 2015 compared to previous years. Romania has one of the highest rates of AIDS among children in Europe; around 10,000 children have been diagnosed in Romania since 1985. During the last years of the communist era in Romania, there were unsafe blood transfusion and inoculation procedures for young children. It is believed that this led to the infection of many children in Romania.

    The Romanian government has made many strides in policy to decrease the prevalence of AIDS in the country. The National Strategy for Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction hopes to decrease the incidence of the disease among vulnerable groups. In addition, the government has directed funding for increased HIV testing among the general population and pregnant women.

  3. CirrhosisCirrhosis is another one of the most common diseases in Romania and was the number three cause of premature death in 2010. In 2013, 40.8 per 100,000 people died from cirrhosis in Romania. Most deadly cases of cirrhosis in Romania are due to Hepatitis C and alcohol use. Cirrhosis is the buildup of scar tissue on the liver that occurs when the liver is damaged. Cirrhosis can be treated by treating the underlying cause of the disease; one could reduce alcohol intake or take medications to control damage to the liver caused by hepatitis. To combat the prevalence of cirrhosis, Romania is trying to remove its causes by creating awareness and prevention for hepatitis C. In 2013 two new governmental organizations were formed in Romania to reduce harms associated with drug use. The government now funds needle exchange programs and HIV and hepatitis C testing.

For each of these diseases in Romania the government seems to acknowledge the threat they place on society and is taking swift action to reduce their impact. Most of the government programs are education-based, but some legislative action has been passed or is in the process of passing. Romania should continue to alert people to the risk factors of common diseases and provide instruments to slow their spread.

Sarah Denning

Photo: Flickr

Common Diseases in Canada
Although Canada is a country known to have affordable healthcare, it is still prone to its list of common diseases and healthcare problems. In a study run in 2014, the life expectancy at birth was about 81.67 years.  This life expectancy is much higher when compared to the United States rate of about 79.56 years.

This difference gets influenced by the fact that Canada spends about $6,299 per person on healthcare compared to the U.S., where each individual spends a different amount of money on health care. There are projections that Canada would spend about $228.1 billion in total for 2016, which is a 2.7% increase from 2015.

According to the world atlas in March 2017, these common diseases in Canada were some of the nation’s leading causes of death in 2012:

  • Malignant neoplasms (cancer)
  • Heart Disease
  • Stroke
  • Chronic lower respiratory diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Influenza and pneumonia
  • Kidney Diseases

With cancer as the number one cause of death, heart disease is the second most common leading cause of death in Canada. Heart diseases claimed more than 48,000 lives in 2012. On top of this, an estimated 2.4 million Canadians (over the age of 20) live with heart disease.

In the 2008-2009 fiscal year, one in ten deaths were attributed to Diabetes, another of the more common diseases in Canada. In addition, people living with diabetes are more likely to be hospitalized with other health problems, such as cardiovascular disease.

While there is a focus on the leading causes of death in Canada, other common diseases and disorders have seen a rise in Canada as well. Some examples include Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Alzheimer’s disease, HIV & AIDS and mental illnesses such as depression.

Autism is now the fastest-growing and most commonly diagnosed neurological disorder in Canada. The prevalence of ASD has increased over 100% in the last ten years, according to Autism Speaks, an autism advocacy organization.

In regards to the healthcare system, however, there are varying opinions. While some feel that Canada has the best healthcare system as far as affordable care goes, others feel as though the system is an unmitigated disaster, with people waiting to die due to the time that it may take to receive the care necessary to deal with their illnesses.

The Canadian healthcare system is complex, and as more expenditures result in better health outcomes, it is clear that there is still much to do in order to further reduce the presence of these common diseases in Canada.

Stefanie Podosek

Photo: Google