Chapter 15- Twenty-First Century Health

A summary of the 15th chapter- twenty-first century health of the AQA GCSE Human Health and Physiology textbook

  • Created by: R_Hall
  • Created on: 19-06-12 11:41

15.1 Twenty-first century health

  • In the middle of the 20th century, medical research was focused on "finding a cure to cancer", as treatments were experimental. Nowadays, many types of cancer are treatable with drugs, and the cost of developing them is high
  • Sometimes, doctors insist that a person changes their lifestyle before they are offered medical treatment.
  • Life expectancy is getting longer (due to new drugs and treatment), but increasing numbers of old people can bring new demands and higher health costs.
  • Dieticians and nutritionists have warned that there is an obesity epidemic in the UK. A third of children are overweight or obese. Maybe this is because we are doing less exercise
  • Surveys show that less teenagers are drinking young, but those who do are drinking more units- the long term effects are not known
  • Alcohol damages the brain, and increases the risk of obesity, cancer and heart disease. If a pregnant woman drinks, in severe cases, the foetus can be born with foetal alcohol syndrome- learning difficulties, hyperactivity and ADHD
  • Of the £11bill spend on medication, about £2bill was spent on over-the-counter
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15.1 Twenty-first century health

  • There are a large number of alternative therapies for minor ailments
  • Mind therapies (incl. relaxation, hypnotherapy and meditation) help people by reducing emotional distress or symptoms caused by serious illness
  • Acupuncture (used in China for 4000 years) is based on the idea that health is the result of harmony between bodily functions, and the body and nature. Disease occurs when the harmony is interrupted, and acupuncture restores
  • Treatments involve inserting needles into acupuncture points, and many people say it is a good pain relief and can help some conditions
  • Trials should involve placebos
  • The principle of homeopathy is that large doses of chemicals cause illness, so small amounts of very dilute toxic solutions are given
  • Many medicines are derived from plants. Pharmacists test plants for healing properties to extract chemicals, and herbalists use the whole plant or a combination
  • Some alternative therapies can interfere with drugs from doctors
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