English Health Vocabulary

Are you healthy? Do you often get ill, or do you suffer from a particular condition?

This health vocabulary will help you talk about health problems, lifestyles, cures and treatments in English. There are also common collocations to help you use the vocabulary in context.

Common Health Problems

high blood pressure
This is very common in the UK and other western countries. It can lead to heart attacks and strokes (two of the most common causes of death.)

high cholesterol
This can also increase the risk of heart disease.

arthritis
Problems with your joints (knees, ankles, hips, plus the bones in your hands) can lead to reduced mobility.

mental health
Illnesses such as depression affect more than 1 in 4 people at some stage of their life.

dementia
One of the most common types of dementia is Alzheimers Disease, but there are more than 200 types of dementia, affecting 1 in 6 people over the age of 80.

cancer
If cancer isn’t caught in time, it can spread to other places in the body.

diabetes
Diabetes has two forms: Type 1 and Type 2. If left untreated, diabetes can cause further serious health problems, such as kidney failure, blindness and damage to blood vessels.

Health And Lifestyle Factors

Your lifestyle can play a large part in your health. Here are a few things we often talk about:

obesity
Being seriously overweight can lead to a number of health problems. Doctors recommend that we maintain a healthy weight.

lack of exercise
If you have a sedentary lifestyle (you sit a lot of the time) you can also develop serious health issues.

diet
Your diet is a very important lifestyle factor. Avoid processed food and cut down on sugar and fat. Eat plenty of vegetables and fruit and choose lean cuts of meat and fish.

smoking
Smoking is linked to serious illnesses such as lung cancer, as well as increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Health Collocations

clinical trial = when drug companies test new drugs
“The new drug won’t be on the market until clinical trials have finished.”

prescribe medication = when a doctor gives you a prescription (piece of paper telling you what medicines to take)
“He was prescribed medication for his high cholesterol.”

cause of death = the illness or event that kills a person
“Heart attacks are one of the biggest causes of death in the UK.”

palliative care = when medical care is focussed on reducing pain, rather than on curing the illness
“The hospital is arranging palliative care for him at home.”

health insurance = when you pay money every month for private health care (not so common in the UK where the NHS (National Health Service) is free for everyone
“The company offers private health insurance to its employees.”

treat an illness = cure an illness
“You can’t treat a cold with antibiotics.”

respond to treatment = when treatment has a positive effect
“He had emergency surgery, but he’s responding well to treatment.”

make a (full) recovery = when you get well again
“Doctors expect her to make a full recovery.”


English Health Vocabulary

Hi! I’m Clare – the founder of this site. My goal is to help you become more fluent in English – so you get to an advanced level quickly!

My program Real English Conversations  shows you the phrases you need to speak fluently and confidently – and it helps you expand your vocabulary. Check it out below!