You may be tempted to think that America’s nearly 73 million millennials have a lock on healthy living.
However, your assumption might be wrong.
A new study concludes that millennials might be even less healthy than Gen Xers, the generation before them.
And their health starts to decline at an earlier age.
Researchers for the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association analyzed data from medical health insurance claims for 55 million millennials, have been ages 21 to 36 in 2017 when the study was done.
Based on the insurer’s optimal health index of 100, the study found that the common score for millennials was about 95.
But researchers also learned that older millennials ages 34 to 36 had higher rates for 10 top health conditions than Generation X members had when these were exactly the same age.
Health conditions such as for example depression, diabetes, high blood pressure, and substance use were those types of considered.
Among one other takeaways:
- Overall health for millennials begins to decline at age 27, which will be prior to when expected.
- Millennial women are 20 percent less healthy than their male counterparts.
- Millennials are far more suffering from behavioral health conditions than physical.
- Millennials in southern states, such as for example Alabama, Florida, and Louisiana, and Mississippi, are the smallest amount of healthy. Millennials in western states, such as for example Arizona, California, Colorado, and Nevada, are among the healthiest.
A number of the findings even surprised the researchers.
“While it’s well-known in medical community that we’re seeing higher rates of depression in this generation, I found it surprising to see a rise in physical conditions, such as for example hypertension, especially because you don’t expect you’ll see those kind of heart conditions in this age bracket,” Dr. Vincent Nelson, vice president of medical affairs for the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, told Healthline. What others are saying
“You can find certainly some things here that within my mind ring true,” Dr. Georges C. Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association, told Healthline.
“Hypertension and diabetes track with the obesity epidemic, which will be getting worse. So, you will find certainly some things here that definitely correlate with what our general sense is overall with health, including depression” he added.
Benjamin noted there are some limitations to the research.
“They are folks who are insured, which means you can’t say this really is representative of millennials” he said. “But within the insured population and the information set they’ve, it’s a fascinating correlation.”
“I want to see how this comes even close to the whole population” he added.
Dr. Aaron J. Friedberg, a secretary professor of internal medicine at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, sees an ominous trend.
“I do believe this report reflects an approaching reality that as a result of increased illness, future generations could for initially in recent history to be less healthy than the ones that preceded them,” Friedberg told Healthline.
“Long term, this means not merely shorter lifespans but less time spent in a healthy body,” he added.