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Preview: BBC News | Health | Medical notes | World Edition

BBC News | Health | Medical notes | World Edition

BBC Medical Notes: health resources archive with A-Z on medical topics and in-depth reports on cancer, heart disease and strokes, plus NHS ratings.

Last Build Date: Wed, 12 May 2010 15:25:16 GMT

Copyright: Copyright: (C) British Broadcasting Corporation, see for terms and conditions of reuse


Fri, 07 Aug 2009 13:42:16 GMT

Achalasia is a rare motility disorder of the oesophagus, commonly known as the gullet.


Thu, 09 Mar 2006 17:41:30 GMT

Acne is an inflammatory skin condition that causes spots.

Age-related macular degeneration

Tue, 05 Aug 2008 11:39:43 GMT

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness. It is just one form of macular disease, which affects the eye's retina.


Wed, 09 Aug 2000 11:17:02 GMT

William Hague's boast that he once drank 14 pints of beer a day may impress some voters - but probably not his doctor.

Alzheimer's and dementia

Mon, 22 Dec 2008 10:11:30 GMT

Alzheimer's disease is a progressive, degenerative and irreversible brain disorder that causes intellectual impairment, disorientation and eventually death and is the most common cause of dementia.


Sat, 08 Feb 2003 15:43:38 GMT

Memory loss or amnesia is usually temporary and it can be triggered by both psychological and physical trauma.

Anabolic steroids

Fri, 14 Dec 2007 11:36:44 GMT

Anabolic steroids can boost sporting performance - but at a serious cost to long-term health.


Sat, 08 Feb 2003 15:43:39 GMT

Anaemia, or lack of red blood cells, is a very common medical problem.

Anaphylactic shock

Sat, 08 Feb 2003 15:43:37 GMT

The facts about peanut allergy and other forms of anaphylactic shock


Tue, 02 May 2006 15:00:41 GMT

Anaesthesia is a key part of the preparation for any operation.

Ankylosing spondylitis

Mon, 07 Jun 1999 12:29:00 GMT

Ankylosing spondylitis is a disease which causes progressive stiffening of the spine, and which, if left untreated, can cripple sufferers.


Fri, 05 Nov 1999 20:12:37 GMT

Superbugs are becoming more common - and some doctors fear they herald the end of the age of antibiotics. BBC News Online looks at the problems facing the 20th century's greatest medical advance.


Thu, 26 Oct 2000 11:51:09 GMT

Anti-coagulants are prescribed to millions of people to treat and prevent the life-threatening effects of a clot blocking a blood vessel.


Sat, 08 Feb 2003 15:43:39 GMT

Anthrax is a rare infection which, in its most severe forms, is likely to prove fatal.

Anxiety disorder

Wed, 20 Dec 2000 10:06:48 GMT

Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental illlnesses in the UK and cover everything from panic attacks to post-traumatic stress disorder.

Arsenic poisoning

Mon, 27 Sep 1999 16:33:00 GMT

Arsenic is known best as a deadly poison, although in small doses it does have medical benefits. BBC News Online looks at the workings of the chemical made most famous through detective fiction.


Fri, 11 Apr 2003 15:21:22 GMT

Arthritis is a very common medical condition, estimated to affect around seven million people in the UK.

Asbestos disease

Sat, 08 Feb 2003 15:43:41 GMT

Over 3,000 people a year die from asbestos diseases in the UK and the number is set to treble by 2020. Diseases include cancer of the lining of the chest and lungs. Only 25% of those who develop this cancer are still alive a year after diagnosis.

Asperger syndrome

Tue, 25 Aug 2009 11:27:36 GMT

Asperger syndrome is a form of autism which often manifests in "eccentric" behaviour rather than pronounced and obvious disability.


Thu, 08 Jan 2004 13:06:26 GMT

This long-term condition is relatively easy to control yet it is responsible for 180,000 deaths a year.


Thu, 03 Mar 2005 09:56:27 GMT

Research suggests levels of autism have increased by ten-fold over the last decade. BBC News Online examines a perplexing condition.

Baby breathing difficulties

Mon, 14 Feb 2000 11:10:39 GMT

Apnoea attack, or near cot death, occurs when a baby stops breathing for a few seconds. It affects around 500 babies a year.

Back pain

Wed, 27 Jul 2005 16:27:53 GMT

Bird flu

Thu, 10 Jan 2008 19:51:36 GMT

The BBC News website looks at bird flu - and the fears it could spread between humans.

Biliary Atresia

Sat, 08 Feb 2003 15:45:53 GMT

Around 50 children are born with biliary atresia every year in England and Wales. The condition affects the liver and is potentially fatal if not operated on early.

Binswanger's disease

Mon, 12 Apr 1999 18:12:00 GMT

Lawyers acting for Edgar Pearce - the Mardi Gra bomber - have claimed he suffers from Binswanger's disease, a rare form of dementia that can change the way people think.

Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Mon, 31 Jan 2000 12:43:00 GMT

A Scottish hospital has launched an inquiry after a surgeon agreed to remove healthy limbs from patients suffering from a psychological disorder. BBC News Online looks at the condition.


Fri, 24 Sep 1999 11:20:00 GMT

Many doctors see boxing as an unacceptably dangerous sport - the BMA would like to see it banned.

Brain haemorrhage in pre-term babies

Mon, 07 Jan 2002 10:02:04 GMT

One of the risks to babies born prematurely is that their undeveloped blood vessels will bleed into the brain.

Brain tumours

Thu, 18 Aug 2005 11:06:21 GMT

Brain tumours information

Burns and scalds

Thu, 15 Sep 2005 14:38:18 GMT

How to avoid and treat burns and scalds.


Sat, 08 Feb 2003 15:45:51 GMT

Opinion is sharply divided over whether cannabis should be legalised for medicinal use.


Fri, 17 Mar 2006 17:22:36 GMT

One in three people over the age of 65 has a cataract. Left untreated cataracts can significantly impair vision.

Cerebral aneurism

Sat, 08 Feb 2003 15:45:52 GMT

An aneurism is a dilation, or swelling, of a blood vessel (where part of the vein or artery inflates like a balloon).


Thu, 08 May 2003 09:22:15 GMT

Cholera is an intestinal infection caused by a bacteria - and is often linked to contaminated supplies of drinking water.

Cleft lip and palate

Fri, 28 Nov 2003 17:26:29 GMT

A baby which was abandoned by its parents in Portugal was identified partly through a distinctive cleft upper lip. BBC News Online looks at the condition.

Clinical trials

Mon, 03 Apr 2006 13:41:19 GMT

Coeliac disease

Thu, 06 Mar 2003 17:06:30 GMT

Coeliac disease is a gut disorder which can strike at any age.

Collapsed lung

Sat, 08 Feb 2003 15:45:52 GMT

A collapsed lung prevents the sufferer from absorbing life-giving oxygen into the blood stream in the normal way.

Complementary medicines: A guide

Mon, 23 Aug 1999 09:31:00 GMT

From acupuncture to yoga, all you need to know about the most commonly used therapies.

Conjoined twins

Fri, 25 Aug 2000 12:45:02 GMT

Conjoined twins are a rare phenomenon.

COPD (respiratory disease)

Tue, 14 Mar 2006 17:05:16 GMT

Scientists are developing a treatment for a form of lung disease which is one of the UK's biggest killers.

Crohn's disease

Tue, 20 May 2008 14:44:04 GMT

Information on the inflammatory gut disorder Crohn's disease.

Cystic fibrosis

Mon, 28 Jul 2003 15:46:50 GMT

Cystic fibrosis is an life-threatening inherited genetic disease.

Deep vein thrombosis

Sat, 08 Feb 2003 15:45:54 GMT

Deep vein thrombosis is the formation of a blood clot in one of the deep veins of the body, usually in the leg.


Wed, 20 Dec 2000 10:06:48 GMT

Depression is a common mental illness which is estimated to affect up to one in five Britons at some point in their lifetime. Famous sufferers include Sir Winston Churchill.


Tue, 09 Feb 1999 18:51:00 GMT

The hormonal condition diabetes is on the increaseas people lead increasingly unhealthy lifestyles. If untreated it can cause very serious health problems.


Thu, 03 Jun 1999 15:22:00 GMT

Dioxins are present everywhere and are known to be a serious heath threat - BBC News Online looks at the facts.

Diverticular disease

Wed, 03 Jun 2009 15:25:07 GMT

Diverticular disease is a condition which occurs when pouches of tissue, commonly known as diverticula, pass through the muscular layer of the bowel.

Down's syndrome

Sun, 01 Apr 2001 14:43:08 GMT

Down's syndrome is a genetic condition which affects about one in every 1,000 babies born in the UK.


Tue, 14 Sep 1999 14:38:00 GMT

The arrival of recreational drugs has created an explosion in use. BBC News Online looks at the major illegal drugs.


Thu, 30 Dec 2004 11:52:33 GMT

Dysentery, an infection of the digestive system, can kill if not treated.


Mon, 25 Jun 2007 13:36:16 GMT

Dystonia is an incurable neurological movement disorder thought to affect at least 40,000 in the UK alone.

E. coli infection

Mon, 03 Aug 2009 14:54:05 GMT

E. coli is a common bug which is present everywhere in the environment. Mostly it helps people to stay healthy, providing the body with many vitamins, such as vitamin K. But some strains - such as the 0157 strain - are potentially fatal.

Eating disorders

Wed, 20 Dec 2000 10:06:48 GMT

Eating disorders are responsible for the highest number of deaths from psychiatric illness.

Ebola and other tropical viruses

Wed, 12 Sep 2007 10:33:42 GMT

BBC News Online examines the facts behind terrifying outbreaks of haemorrhagic fevers in Africa and beyond.


Sat, 08 Feb 2003 15:45:55 GMT

The dangers of the recreational drug Ecstasy are still not fully understood - and, as some tragic cases have proved, it can damage health.

Ectopic pregnancy

Sat, 08 Feb 2003 15:45:50 GMT

One of the most devastating complications of pregnancy is if the embryo starts to grow outside the womb - an ectopic pregnancy.


Thu, 09 Mar 2006 17:51:51 GMT

US authorities have ruled two eczema creams should carry warnings that they may increase the risk of cancer.

Electro-convulsive Therapy

Wed, 20 Dec 2000 10:06:48 GMT

Once a commonly used - and controversial - treatment for a variety of mental problems, ECT still bears a stigma despite advances which have made it far safer and more effective.

Emergency contraception

Wed, 27 Jul 2005 17:10:11 GMT

How emergency contraception methods work.


Mon, 23 Jun 2008 13:45:40 GMT

Emphysema is a progressive lung condition which leaves sufferers struggling for breath.


Wed, 29 Sep 1999 15:30:00 GMT

Insect-borne diseases are spreading around the world - find out about some of the most common infections.


Fri, 28 Feb 2003 17:38:36 GMT

Endometriosis is a painful, chronic disease that is estimated to affect up to 25% of all women.


Tue, 20 May 2003 16:57:30 GMT

Epilepsy is a common neurological disorder which causes fits. At any one time 300,000 people in the UK have active epilepsy.

Epstein-Barr Virus

Mon, 31 Mar 2003 15:36:03 GMT

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) occurs world-wide and infects most people at some point in their lives.

Erectile dysfunction

Tue, 12 Oct 2004 11:00:34 GMT

Erectile dysfunction is the repeated inability to get or keep an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse.

Exhaust emissions

Thu, 06 May 1999 11:58:00 GMT

Vehicle emissions can have a serious impact on health.

Laser Eye Surgery

Mon, 04 Jul 2005 13:56:58 GMT

An explanation of the surgical procedure intended to reduce a person's dependency on glasses or contact lenses.


Tue, 10 Feb 2009 07:19:00 GMT

Fat is an essential part of the diet, but lots of people eat more fat than they need or is good for them.

Female genital mutilation

Wed, 23 Dec 1998 12:00:00 GMT

The cultural and religious practice of female circumcision is a health hazard that maims and kills young women across the world.

Female sexual dysfunction

Sat, 08 Feb 2003 15:48:44 GMT

Inadequate sexual function in women is a complex problem that can have many different causes.


Wed, 09 Feb 2005 17:53:01 GMT

Fibromyalgia is a condition which causes widespread pain and severe fatigue.


Tue, 10 Jan 2006 16:49:40 GMT

Flu and its complications can kill, but most healthy people can shake it off in a few days.

Food additives

Wed, 06 Oct 1999 12:56:00 GMT

The possible health risks of food additives are the subject of fierce controversy among experts.

Gastro oesophageal reflux disease

Thu, 12 Mar 2009 13:23:18 GMT


Thu, 22 Jan 2004 22:27:17 GMT

BBC News Online examines what causes glaucoma and how it is treated.

Goldenhar Syndrome

Tue, 05 Mar 2002 10:39:21 GMT

The rare Goldenhar Syndrome leaves babies with an underdeveloped face and is thought to affect just 75 children in the UK.

Group B streptococcus infection

Fri, 01 Sep 2006 17:01:14 GMT

Group B streptococcus is the most common cause of life-threatening infections in newborn babies in the UK.

Guillain-Barré Syndrome

Wed, 05 Dec 2001 10:52:20 GMT

Guillain-Barré Syndrome is a frightening and disabling disease which strikes suddenly, sometimes with devastating effect.


Tue, 24 Jun 2003 10:41:39 GMT

How can it be avoided? And what causes it in the first place? BBC News Online investigates.

Hot weather risks

Mon, 29 Jun 2009 12:09:47 GMT

Hot weather is affecting the UK. While most enjoy the summer sun, high temperatures can pose a significant risk to health.

Hepatitis B

Tue, 10 May 2005 06:30:14 GMT

Hepatitis B is the most common serious liver infection in the world. It is thought to be the leading cause of liver cancer.

Hepatitis C

Tue, 25 Oct 2005 11:21:00 GMT

Hepatitis C is a virus which can cause serious liver problems.


Tue, 11 Mar 2003 11:57:48 GMT

Prince Charles is far from alone in needing an operation to repair a hernia. It is the commonest male operation performed in the UK, with the NHS performing over 100,000 hernia repairs every year.


Sat, 08 Feb 2003 15:48:43 GMT

Heroin use is on the increase. There are about 40,000 registered addicts in the UK, but the real figure could be four times that number. Customs seizures are also at a record high.


Mon, 27 Feb 2006 17:41:07 GMT

HIV has killed millions of people world-wide since it was first identified as a threat to public health more than 20 years ago.

Human growth hormone

Tue, 23 Jun 1998 09:23:00 GMT

Human growth hormone (HGH) has been helping stunted children in the UK to grow normally since 1959.

Human Papilloma Virus

Thu, 26 Aug 1999 09:30:00 GMT

Human papilloma viruses or HPVs are a group of more than 80 different types of virus, including those that cause genital warts. BBC News Online looks at what they are and what they do.


Thu, 23 Feb 2006 12:37:37 GMT

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, can lead to serious complications, including heart attacks.


Wed, 10 Feb 1999 15:45:00 GMT

Exposure to the cold is estimated to cause 30,000 deaths a year in the UK. Hypothermia is one of the most deadly cold-induced conditions.


Mon, 12 Feb 2007 17:18:19 GMT

A hysterectomy is a major surgical procedure, involving removal of the uterus.

Infant fever

Wed, 02 Jun 1999 11:15:00 GMT

Many babies suffer from fever, but only rarely is it something to worry about.

Irritable bowel syndrome

Fri, 01 Sep 2006 16:33:42 GMT

Irritable bowel syndrome is a common and painful disorder about which relatively little is still known.


Fri, 24 Oct 2008 16:59:51 GMT

Around 6,000 babies a year are born in the UK to otherwise infertile couples as a result of in vitro fertilisation.

Infectious disease

Thu, 17 Jun 1999 16:37:00 GMT

Malaria is a public health problem in some 90 countries, and causes between 1.5 and 2.7 million deaths world-wide each year.

Japanese encephalitis

Tue, 30 Mar 1999 11:32:00 GMT

Japanese encephalitis is a disease caused by a virus transmitted by mosquitoes - in severe cases it leads to a deadly inflammation of the brain.

Kidney failure

Mon, 15 Oct 2001 14:29:37 GMT

Kidney failure is a serious disease which can have a major impact on life, and can ultimately be fatal. However, it can be successfully treated.

Knee cartilage

Fri, 12 Dec 2003 10:16:08 GMT

The Queen is to undergo a minor operation to remove torn cartilage in her knee for the second time in less than a year. BBC News Online examines the problem.

Knee injuries

Sat, 08 Feb 2003 15:48:46 GMT

The knee injury suffered by Ruud van Nistelrooy is typical of those suffered by footballers, as BBC News Online discovers.