Health Literacy Thesaurus: Medical terms, phrases, references,
and their Plain English equivalents or definitions

E (economical - extend)

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economicalcheap, low cost, low priced
effectmake, result
effectiveworks well, good, strong
efficacy ratehow well something works
EKGheart test, test of your heart
electrolytesblood salts, a type of necessary salt found in blood
elevateraise, lift, make higher
eliminatestop, end, drop, get rid of
emaciatedemaciated very thin, starving
embolismblood clot
emphasizestress, point out, highlight
emphysemaa lung disease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
encephalitisswelling of the brain
encephalopathybrain dysfunction
endocrinerelated to the hormone producing systems
enhanceadd to, improve
environmentall the things around you in your daily life, at home and at work
environmental controlremoving harmful things from your home and work; doing something to improve the space you live in and the air you breathe
epidemicdisease that most people get, widespread sickness
epidemiologydisease study
episodeevent, set amount of time, attack, brief time
epizooticwidespread disease in animals
equilibriumbalance
equivalent ofequal to
erosionssmall pits, small holes in teeth or bones
erythematosusred rash on the face
escalateworsen, make worse, get worse, increase, grow
ESRa blood test
etiologythe cause of
evidentplain to see, visible, seen
exacerbateworsen, make worse
excess ratehow many people become seriously sick during a pandemic
excessivetoo much
exertwork hard, push, struggle, exercise
exertioneffort, work
exhalebreathe out
exhibitshow, display
expectoratespit, cough, spit out
experiencefeel, have, go through
expertiseknowledge, skill, know-how, training
exposurearound, been around, contact, come in contact with, family history, health information about your close relatives
extendmake longer

Source: CDC Plain Language Thesaurus for Health Communications. Other related materials: Vaccines & Immunizations Glossary; Harvard School of Public Health "Plain Language Glossaries" for asthma, arthritis, and lupus; Medical Library Association "Deciphering Medspeak" for diabetes, stroke, and HIV-AIDS


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