Series on Health

Griffin, J.

Series on Health
October 1996

Thrombosis had been recognised as a disease since around 2000 BC, but the word thrombosis was first used by Claudius Galenos (130 – 200 AD). Pulmonary embolism was described for the first time by Wiseman in 1676 but the relationship between venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism was not clarified until the 1840s by Rudolf Virchow. In 1856 Virchow described a triad for the origin of thrombosis which remains valid today. He suggested that blood stasis, injury to the blood vessel wall and alteration of the blood constituents are the main causes of venous thrombosis.

Marchant, N.

Series on Health
September 1995

The majority of men possess little knowledge concerning the prostate gland. Information about the prostate, in particular the potential medical problems, the available treatments, and even its location, is unfamiliar to most men. This ignorance is somewhat surprising considering the significant number of men afflicted by prostatic problems. Every year some 50,000 men have a prostate operation in Britain, with over six times this figure visiting their doctor with prostatic symptoms requiring treatment or monitoring.

West, R.

Series on Health
July 1994

'We are unanimous in our belief that obesity is a hazard to health and a detriment to well-being. It is common enough to constitute one of the most important medical and public health problems of our time, whether we judge importance by a shorter expectation of life, increased morbidity, or cost to the community in terms of both money and anxiety' (James, 1976). So concluded a working party set up jointly by the UK Department of Health and the Medical Research Council.

West, R.

Series on Health
March 1994

This report is concerned with people who persistently starve themselves (anorexia nervosa), as well as those who follow chaotic eating patterns (bulimia nervosa). Both conditions are associated with considerable morbidity and mortality.

Griffin, J.

Series on Health
January 1993

Preterm birth is a major world health problem. Statistics show the significant numbers of perinatal deaths due to preterm birth and the disproportionate numbers of children surviving preterm birth who suffer from physical and intellectual impairment. The problem affects countries in both the developed and the under developed world. Although the impact on third World countries differs as the prevalent disease states, malnutrition and limited medical facilities reduce the chances of survival.

West, R.

Series on Health
January 1993

The area of genetics in relation to hereditary disease has become an important aspect of medical practice with potentially far-reaching ramifications. We all inherit many features from our parents such as eye colour, hair colour, facial characteristics and even height and build to some extent. However, we may also inherit less desirable traits such as hereditary disease. Genetic counselling at its most fundamental level is aimed at helping couples make an informed decision.

Laing, W.

Series on Health
December 1992

This report is about varicose veins and the range of venous diseases of the legs, including chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) and venous ulcers, that people with varicose veins are prone to develop. It collates information on the prevalence of these conditions, focusing on European populations, and presents estimates of their economic cost in five European countries, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. It reviews the benefits and risks of alternative treatments and highlights the potential for innovations in organising health services for people with venous diseases.

Keen, J.

Series on Health
September 1992

Dementia is a condition whose causes are poorly understood, which cannot be cured and for which current treatments of symptoms have at best marginal effects. Dementia affects a significant proportion of the population of elderly people in developed countries, and it is estimated that over half a million people in the UK have it. There are thus important implications for the health and social care resources required to support them.

Griffin, J.

Series on Health
April 1992

Throughout history the desire to experience an altered state of consciousness can be seen to have been part of the essential nature of man. In all parts of the world substances have been used to suppress pain, relieve depression and also to provide pleasurable sensations. Tobacco, alcohol, caffeine (coffee and tea), cannabis, cocaine, heroin, barbiturates or tranquillisers, for example, offer easy and immediate ways of altering psychological states. For some people the ease and immediacy with which such substances achieve these effects prove particularly seductive (Gossop, 1987).

West, R.

Series on Health
March 1992

Depression has been defined as the persistent and sustained feeling that the self is worthless, the world meaningless and the future hopeless. There is a world of difference between being generally miserable and sad, and suffering from the psychiatric illness known as depression. Nevertheless, a continuum can be seen to exist going from normal human sadness through neurotic misery to psychotic delusions. This paper deals with the latter two categories rather than the universal experience of 'feeling depressed'.

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