The words contracting or catching a disease mainly refers to the communicable ones.
If the disease/condition is a slowly developing one, then what would be a good substitute for "developed?"
During the fall of last year, he developed ulcers.
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In cases where you have exhausted the thesaurus, it usually means you should try to rewrite the sentence. It isn't a matter of finding another word. That said, how about: acquired? showed signs/symptoms of...? suffered? symptomatic of?? manifest? indicate? indications?
It's funny, but in the US, even if something is not communicable, I guess we often use a phrase that implies causation:
"She's got cancer." "He ended up getting ulcers" "When she got Alzheimer's, they put her in a home"
In a medical environment, "developed" would fit most signs and symptoms. It wouldn't sound natural to use it for certain diseases, though. e.g. When discussing a case, we wouldn't say:
"This patient developed a myocardial infarction." An MD or RN will just say "he has an acute M.I." or "he had an acute M.I.", and will save "develop" for complications: "this patient with acute M.I. developed third-degree heart block, ventricular tachycardia or pulmonary edema".
The layman, on the other hand, will surely use "has", "had", "has got", "had got". We don't hear people say "I've contracted or developed a cold"