Major and chronic diseases (MCDs) – defined as diseases affecting at least 50 per 100 000 people – together cause 87% of deaths in the EU.
MCDs include cardiovascular disease, cancer, mental health problems, diabetes mellitus, chronic respiratory disease and musculoskeletal conditions.
There is mounting evidence that some MCDs previously regarded as non-communicable may be caused by a chronic infection. This group includes some cancers, e.g. primary liver cancer, most gastric cancers and cervical cancer.