In 2017, according to the Blue Cross Blue Shield Health Index, millennials had an average health index of 95.1. This means that millennials, as a group, were living at about 95% of their optimal health. However, what the study also reveals is the older millennials (ages 34 to 36) have higher prevalence rates for nearly all of the top 10 conditions than did Generation X members when they were in the same age range. Here are the top 10 health conditions impacting millennials.
Major depression is common amongst millennials. According to a study conducted by Harvard Medical School, since 2013, millennials have seen a 47% increase in major depression diagnosis. The overall major depression rate increased from 3% to 4.4% among millennials aged 18 - 34 years old. Major depression can make it difficult to handle daily activities, persistent feelings of low energy, social withdrawal, and an increased need for sleep are also common. Major depression is also linked to suicidal thoughts and actions.
Substance use disorder is a disorder marked by the recurrent use of alcohol and drugs, so much so that the substances cause mental impairment, health issues, and have a negative impact on your health.
Alcohol use disorder is another variation of substance use disorder marked by the repeated use of alcohol to such an extent that it causes mental impairment, health issues, and has a drastically negative impact on your health and life.
Hypertension is another medical term for high blood pressure and can put you at risk of developing a number of conditions including heart disease, stroke, and increases your odds of early death.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, also known as ADHD, is defined by inattention or impulsive actions and or thoughts. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, people can experience varying levels of ADHD.
Psychotic conditions is a mental disorder characterized by a disconnect from reality.
Crohn's disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that can result in abdominal pain, fever, diarrhea, and weight loss.
High cholesterol leads to a higher risk of having a heart attack and stroke. According to the American Heart Association, high cholesterol is the result of a combination of a diet that is high in trans and saturated fat and genetics.
Tobacco use disorder—an addiction to tobacco is the most common substance abuse disorder in the U.S. according to the American Academy of Addiction.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, affecting an estimated 30.3 million Americans each year. Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body doesn't use insulin properly, which can cause blood glucose levels to rise higher than normal. Type 2 diabetes is developed because of lifestyle choices such as unhealthy eating and lack of exercise as well as genetic.
The map below is from Blue Cross Blue Shield and shows the average BCBS Health Index for all millennials who were ages 21-36 in 2017.
Older millennials living in southern states are even less healthy
The BCBS Health Index data study concludes, "The urgency for the healthcare community is to recognize that millennial Americans are experiencing double-digit increases in prevalence for eight of the top 10 health conditions."
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