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Difference Between Disease and Condition


Disease, infection, condition, syndrome, etc., are common terms when studying human physiology and pathophysiology. They help us identify what the patient is going through, and using specific terms makes it easy for doctors in different departments to diagnose the patient’s issue.

Yet, sometimes, these terms are confused with each other and may lead to problems in treatment. Let’s explain the differences between disease and condition to understand both terms better.

Comparison Table

in Medicine
IllnessState of an
individual’s body
RepresentationNegativeNegative or Positive
TypesTwoTwenty one
ExamplesCVD, AIDS, DiabetesLesions, Arthritis, Asthma

What is a Disease?

Merriam-Webster defines a disease as “a condition of the living animal or plant body or of one of its parts that impairs normal functioning and is typically manifested by distinguishing signs and symptoms.”

Thus, it is related to the improper functioning of a body part or different parts of the body. It is used to describe a sickness or an illness. Diseases can be physical or mental. However, most mental illnesses are called disorders instead of diseases.

The term disease may also denote a group adversely affected by a negative quality or disposition. It is worth noting that disease is always used in a negative annotation. When someone calls something a disease, they refer to a negative quality or damaged part.

Diseases can be infectious or noninfectious depending on their origin and spread. Diseases like HIV, measles, listeria, and salmonella are infectious diseases as they arise from bacteria or viruses. Alternatively, non-infectious diseases include crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, diabetes, cancer, etc.


What is a Condition?

Condition refers to the state of a person or a body part. It may or may not be negative. Conditions might be negative or positive.

In medical terms, a condition is defined as “an abnormal state of health that interferes with the usual activities or feeling of wellbeing.” 

The term “condition” is a collection of various diseases, disorders, and lesions. It may be indicated by signs and symptoms depicting a particular disease or infection. 


Difference Between Disease and Condition



Disease is defined as a sickness or illness resulting from a medical problem.


On the other hand, a condition may be defined as a state, medical problem, or illness.



The term “disease” typically represents a set of negative conditions known as illnesses or sickness.


Whereas condition is the state of anything in medical or non-medical terms. It could refer to diseases, disorders, or lesions.



Diseases are major of two types: infectious and non-infectious.


Meanwhile, there are over 21 types of conditions known to medical science.



Diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and AIDs are diseases. AIDS, hepatitis, etc., are infectious diseases, while others like CVD, diabetes, blood pressure, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis are non-infectious diseases.


As conditions comprise diseases, disorders, and lesions, asthma, arthritis, and diabetes, are all examples of conditions.

The Bottom Line

The terms “disease” and “condition” are often used interchangeably. Yet, they may or may not depict the same every time. Disease explains changes in the normal anatomy or physiology of the body. Diseases usually represent a single or more than one illness, whereas the condition may or may not indicate a diseased state. It refers to the current state of the patient. The patient may be in a diseased condition or healthy.


What makes a condition a disease?

A disease refers to changes in the normal functioning of the body and is indicated by particular symptoms. The signs and symptoms may not be visible, yet they lead to changes within the body. The patient may exhibit one or more changes in their body, depicting the diseased condition.

What are the three conditions needed for disease?

The factors that indicate a disease include an antigen or pathogens, the host, and the environment. This type of disease is an infectious disease resulting from an infectious entity. On the other hand, non-infectious diseases may not include a foreign body.

What are 5 health conditions?

There are around 21 conditions in medical science, including chronic diseases like diabetes, heart stroke, asthma, COPD, and arthritis. These conditions and diseases may be controlled or managed by taking care of the risk factors.

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