The Health Categories dimension of the HRCS captures the area of health or disease being studied.
There are 21 separate categories which encompass all diseases, conditions and areas of health. Each of the Health Categories includes research into both disease and normal function.
e.g. studies of normal hepatic function and studies of liver cirrhosis will both be classified in the Oral and Gastrointestinal category.
Of the 21 categories, 19 refer to specific areas of health or disease. The Generic Health Relevance category has been included to capture research that is relevant to all diseases and conditions or to general health and well-being. The Disputed Aetiology and Other category is included to code research that does not fit within the Generic Health Relevance category or the 19 health specific categories.
For more advice, see our General Approach to Coding and Assigning Health Categories pages.
The Health Categories are based on the World Health Organisation (WHO) International Classification of Diseases (ICD) codes which cover all areas of disease and ill health.
Summary of health categories
Haematological diseases, anaemia, clotting (including thromboses and venous embolisms) and normal development and function of platelets and erythrocytes
Cancer and neoplasms
All types of neoplasms, including benign, potentially malignant, or malignant (cancer) cancer growths. This includes leukaemia and mesothelioma.
Coronary heart disease, diseases of the vasculature and circulation including the lymphatic system, and normal development and function of the cardiovascular system
Physical abnormalities and syndromes that are not associated with a single type of disease or condition including Down’s syndrome and cystic fibrosis
Deafness and normal ear development and function
Diseases of the eye and normal eye development and function
Diseases caused by pathogens, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, sexually transmitted infections and studies of infection and infectious agents
Inflammatory and immune system
Rheumatoid arthritis, connective tissue diseases, autoimmune diseases, allergies and normal development and function of the immune system
Injuries and accidents
Fractures, poisoning and burns
Depression, schizophrenia, psychosis and personality disorders, addiction, suicide, anxiety, eating disorders, learning disabilities, autistic spectrum disorders and studies of normal psychology, cognitive function and behaviour
Metabolic and endocrine
Metabolic disorders (including Diabetes) and normal metabolism and endocrine development and function. This includes all research on the pineal, thyroid, parathyroid, pituitary and adrenal glands.
Osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, muscular and skeletal disorders and normal musculoskeletal and cartilage development and function
Dementias, transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, Parkinson’s disease, neurodegenerative diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and studies of the normal brain and nervous system
Oral and gastrointestinal
Inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, diseases of the mouth, teeth, oesophagus, digestive system including liver and colon, and normal oral and gastrointestinal development and function
Renal and urogenital
Kidney disease, pelvic inflammatory disease, renal and genital disorders, and normal development and function of male and female renal and urogenital system
Reproductive health and childbirth
Fertility, contraception, abortion, in vitro fertilisation, pregnancy, mammary gland development, menstruation and menopause, breast feeding, antenatal care, childbirth and complications of newborns
Asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, respiratory diseases and normal development and function of the respiratory system
Dermatological conditions and normal skin development and function
Include both ischaemic stroke (caused by blood clots) and haemorrhagic stroke (caused by cerebral/intercranial haemorrhage).
Generic health relevance
- Research applicable to all diseases and conditions or to general health and well-being of individuals.
- Public health research, epidemiology and health services research that is not focused on specific conditions.
- Underpinning biological, psychosocial, economic or methodological studies that are not specific to individual diseases or conditions
Disputed aetiology and other
Conditions of unknown or disputed aetiology (such as chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis), or research that is not of Generic Health Relevance and not applicable to the top 19 specific health categories with specific pathological / physiological determinants.