Top 10 Health Conditions Impacting Millennials

January 12, 2020

Top 10 Health Conditions Impacting Millennials

Top 10 Health Conditions Impacting Millennials

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.

Health Conditions Impacting Millennials

  • Overall, 83 percent of millennials consider themselves in good or excellent health
  • 68 percent of millennials have a primary care physician
  • A major decline in health begins at age 27
  • Younger generations are facing health challenges at earlier ages than previous generations 
  • When compared to the national population millennials were more affected by behavioral health conditions

1) Major Depression

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. 

2) Substance Use Disorder

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. 

3) Alcohol Use Disorder

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. 

4) Hypertension

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. 

5) Hyperactivity 

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. 

6) Psychotic Conditions

Psychotic conditions is a mental disorder characterized by a disconnect from reality. 

7) Crohn's Disease

Crohn's disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that can result in abdominal pain, fever, diarrhea, and weight loss. 

8) High Cholesterol

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. 

9) Tobacco Use Disorder

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

10) Type 2 diabetes 

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. 

  • Out of these 10 conditions, 6 are behavioral health conditions and 4 are physical health conditions 
  • Millennials are less healthy then Generation X members were at the same age
  • When compared to the Gen X age group, the millennial age group had substantially more adverse health
  • High prevalence of physical conditions such as cardiovascular disease and endocrine disease 

 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. 

Top 10 Health Conditions Impacting Millennials

 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."

  • Millennials are less healthy then the Generation X members were at the same age
  • Major depression, hyperactivity and Type II diabetes had the largest growth in prevalence from 2014 to 2017.
  • In 2017 millennials had an average health index of 95.1 
  • 83 percent of millennials consider themselves in good or excellent health


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