More Than Half of Young U.S. Adults Have a Chronic Health Condition
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of U.S. News & World Report
Posted: June 4th, 2023
Obesity, depression, high blood pressure, asthma: These are just a few of the chronic health conditions that are now affecting almost 40 million Americans between the ages 18 and 34, new federal data shows. Overall, the 2019 data found that more than half of young adults (nearly 54%) now deal with at least one chronic health issue. Almost one in every four (22%) have two or more of these conditions, according to a team of researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “The most prevalent conditions were obesity (25.5%), depression (21.3%), and high blood pressure (10.7%),” said a team led by Kathleen Watson. High cholesterol levels affected about 10% of adults under 35, asthma affected over 9%, and about 6% had arthritis, the study found. Unhealthy lifestyles were often a part of the mix for people with chronic conditions. Young adults “with a chronic condition were more likely than those without one to report binge drinking, smoking or physical inactivity,” Watson’s team found. Certain factors seemed to raise a person’s odds for the leading chronic health condition, obesity. About one-third of young adults living in rural areas were obese, compared to about one-quarter of city dwellers. Black Americans were somewhat more likely to be dealing with obesity than whites — 33.7% versus 23.9%, respectively. Depression tended to affect young adult women (27%) more than men (about 16%) ... and depression rates were especially high among the unemployed (about 31%).
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