Series on Health

Series on Health
May 1975

The unequal geographical distribution of multiple sclerosis is one of its most striking and potentially significant characteristics. The disease occurs with much greater frequency in temperate latitudes and it is particularly prevalent on the island of Orkney, where the prevalence rate is about six times greater than the world average of 30 per 100,000 population (Donnelly 1974). In Great Britain as a whole it is estimated that between 40,000 and 50,000 individuals suffer from the illness, implying a rate of more than twice the world average figure.

Series on Health
December 1974

Parkinson's Disease has probably occurred amongst elderly people throughout history. But it is now a more serious burden to society than at any time in the past because the development of modern medicines coupled with the improvement in living standards in the industrialised countries has largely eliminated the traditional major threats to health such as the infectious diseases. The consequent rise in life expectancy has led to marked increases in the prevalence and significance of the chronic, disabling conditions of old age.

Series on Health
October 1975

Mankind has used mind affecting drugs throughout and probably for many thousands of years before recorded history. In European culture alcohol, tobacco, caffeine and to a lesser extent opium have played particularly important roles as psychoactive agents; but in other parts of the world a wide variety of alternative intoxicants, stimulants and hallucinogens have been employed. These include cocaine, mescaline and cannabis.

Series on Health
September 1974

During the past century the life expectancy at birth of the average Englishman has risen from 40 to around 70 years. Whereas it is likely that in 1870 only 60 per cent or less of children born alive in this country survived their first five years 98 per cent did so in 1970.

Series on Health
June 1974

The United Kingdom's 25,000 family doctors, together with the nurses, midwives, health visitors, receptionists and others who make up the primary medical care team, deal with over 90 per cent of all illnesses which reach the formal structure of the health services. They also play a major role in generating the work of the specialist, hospital sector.

Series on Health
March 1974

Even at the start of the National Health Service's existence in 1948 it was realised by many of those employed in it that its tripartite division into hospital, local authority and executive council services, was to some extent unsatisfactory. Although the 1946 Act establishing the NHS represented a skilled and workable compromise between the interests and beliefs of the various groups involved in health care planning and delivery at that time, developments over the past 25 years have made a structural reorganisation increasingly necessary.

Series on Health
September 1973

Variations between people's personalities, skills and abilities are a usual and, in many respects, valuable aspect of life. But a few individuals' mental capacities in areas like simple calculation or the co-ordination of complex movements fall far short of average standards. Such people may as a result be in some ways disadvantaged as compared with their contemporaries and so considered to be mentally handicapped.

Series on Health
June 1973

The Oxford English Dictionary defìnes the skin as 'the continuous flexible integument forming the usual external covering of any animal body; also the layers of which this is composed'. It forms a barrier between the body and its environment. Its impermeable outer layer, the epidermis, keeps water and other external substances out while conversely it controls loss of water, electrolytes and other substances from within the body.

Series on Health
November 1972

During the course of the past hundred years countries such as Britain have seen a very marked change in their patterns of morbidity and mortality. For example, between 1848 and 1872 it has been estimated that over 32 per cent of all male deaths in England and Wales were caused by infectious diseases and that only 6 per cent were the result of cancer and diseases of the circulatory system. By 1970 the respective figures were 0.6 per cent and 56.6 per cent.

Series on Health
October 1972

The control of the major health problems of the early part of the twentieth century represents a triumph for medical progress in the past twenty-five years. Developments in pharmacology and in medical technology, and their widespread availability free or at nominal cost to the patient under the National Health Service, have transformed the pattern of sickness and mortality in Great Britain.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Series on Health