If you were born between 1981 and 1996, you are a millennial, part of a generation that has stood out for its desire to stand out and become game changers.
Currently, you are between 24 and 39 years old. However, that youth does not necessarily translate into health. Recent studies, such as those by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), identify a dangerous pattern of chronic conditions as well as risky behaviors that can put your future well-being at risk.
Most Common Health Conditions in Young People
Changes towards more sedentary lifestyles, unbalanced diets, and the isolation promoted by digital technologies are beginning to take their toll.
“In recent years, health professionals have been seeing more and more frequently diseases in young people associated with aging, such as high blood pressure, cholesterol, prediabetes, and diabetes,” says Dr. José Novoa, cardiologist, and chief medical officer at Triple-S.
In 2019 the BCBSA, of which Triple-S is a member, found the top 10 conditions affecting the health of millennials.
- Substance abuse
- Alcohol Abuse
- Psychotic disorders
- Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis
- High cholesterol
- Tobacco use
- Type 2 diabetes
Out of these 10 conditions, it is worth noting that 6 of them are related to mental health and emotional well-being. The pandemic, as you can well imagine, is making the situation worse.
Pandemic Worsens Mental Health
In fact, in a follow-up report released last October, the BCBSA highlighted that 92% of millennials surveyed confirmed that the pandemic has had a negative effect on their mental health and increased their alcohol consumption, tobacco, and other drug (non-medical use) use. The report emphasizes that these lifestyle-related behaviors may lead to the development of mental health conditions or worsen existing ones.
Poor Health, Less Income
When you have chronic conditions, it has a significant effect on the health of your personal finances as well. Not only will these young people be dealing with higher costs to treat health conditions much earlier than previous generations, but the state of their health will also have a negative impact on their ability to generate income, concludes a Moody’s study for the BCBSA.
“If you are a young adult, do not wait until you feel unwell to visit a doctor. Choose a professional you trust and practice preventive care, this way you will identify health conditions in time,” recommends Doctor Novoa.
So, if your workplace has preventive health programs, take advantage of them, and participate. In fact, for companies, it will become increasingly important to invest in prevention to maintain a healthy and productive workforce.
“Although we have come a long way, we still do not give mental health the attention it deserves. If you are feeling depressed or are struggling with alcohol or drug use, I invite you to give it the same attention that you would give to a serious burn or deep wound,” says Doctor Novoa
“Seek help. It can be in-person or virtual. In fact, there is evidence that consultations with psychiatrists and psychologists via telemedicine appear to make the experience more comfortable for patients.
As a physician and cardiologist, I invite you to take action. Visit your doctor and try to integrate physical activity and a more balanced diet into your daily routine,” recommends Doctor Novoa.