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Health terms

Health and development glossary

Burden of disease A measure of the gap between current health status and an ideal situation where everyone lives to an old age free of disease and disability. Measured in a unit called the DALY.
Health A complete state of physical, social and mental wellbeing, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
Health Adjusted Life Expectancy (HALE) A measure of burden of disease based on life expectancy at birth, but including an adjustment for time spent in poor health. It is the number of years in full health that a person can expect to live, based on current rates of ill health and mortality.
Health status An individual’s or a population’s overall health, taking into account various aspects such as life expectancy, amount of disability and levels of disease risk factors.’
Life expectancy An indication of how long a person can expect live, it is the number of years of life remaining to a person at a particular age if death rates do not change.’
Morbidity Refers to ill health in an individual and the levels of ill health in a population or group.
Prevalence The number or proportion of cases of a particular disease or condition present in a population at a given time.
Incidence The number of new cases of a disease or infection during a given period
Physical health The efficient functioning of the body and it's systems
Social health Engaging in positive behaviour an sustaining productive relationships with friends, family members and the community
Mental health State of a person's mind and thought processes: an essential part of learning new skills, communicating with others, developing positive self esteem and functioning within a society
Created by: H F