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Sign Of The Times: Over Half Of Young Americans Have A Chronic Health Condition

3 months, 4 weeks ago

4101  0
Posted on Aug 02, 2022, 2 p.m.

A recent federal study shows that chronic conditions such as obesity, high blood pressure, asthma, and depression are affecting almost 40 million Americans between the ages of 18-34.

40 million is more than half of America’s young adults, that’s nearly 54%, who are living with at least one chronic health condition. To add to this 22%, that’s roughly 1 in 4, are dealing with 2 or more chronic conditions, according to recent data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

The data states that the most prevalent chronic conditions are obesity at 25.5%, depression at 21.3%, high blood pressure at 10.7%, high cholesterol at 10%, asthma at over 9%, and arthritis at close to 6% among others, based on data collected from telephone surveys conducted in 2019 of more than 67,000 people between the ages of 18-34 across the nation. 

The study suggests that inactivity and unhealthy lifestyles are a large part of the problem for people with chronic conditions. Young American adults "with a chronic condition were more likely than those without one to report binge drinking, smoking or physical inactivity," said a team led by Kathleen Watson, of the CDC's National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

Not surprisingly, certain factors appeared to raise the odds of obesity, which is the leading chronic health condition and has been declared an epidemic not only in America but also globally

Findings show that around one-third of young American adults living in rural areas are obese as compared to one-quarter of those living in a city, and 33.7% of young black Americans are obese compared to 23.9% of caucasian Americans. 

Young women seem to be more affected by depression with 27% dealing with it as compared to around 16% of young men, and the report also states that the depression rate is especially high among those that are unemployed affecting close to 31%. 

According to the CDC researchers, none of this is good for the health of these young Americans especially as they age, as all these chronic conditions are all known potential risk factors for diseases and premature death. 

"Because chronic conditions become more prevalent with age, a focus on prevention and risk factors is essential for health across the lifespan," the team wrote in caution, noting that chronic conditions are risk factors for heart diseases and diabetes that can arise in later years. 

The team goes on to conclude that this means "addressing health behaviors and intermediate conditions among young adults can help improve long-term health and well-being over the life course.” 

As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine.

Content may be edited for style and length.

Materials provided by:

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/71/wr/mm7130a3.htm

iyr4@cdc.gov

https://www.cdc.gov/media/pressrel/r991026.htm

https://www.who.int/activities/controlling-the-global-obesity-epidemic

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