Millennials, despite popular belief, may not be as healthy as their Generation X parents were at the same age, according to a new study by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
In "The Health of Millennials," published on April 24, researchers assessed commercially insured Americans age 21 to age 36—a group of 55 million. In summary, they found that Millennials were in overall good health, but their health began to steadily decline around age 27, particularly in southern states.
From 2014 to 2017, major depression rates among Millennials grew by 31 percent, while psychotic conditions grew by 15 percent and substance abuse grew by 10 percent.
Conditions such as hyperactivity, ulcerative colitis, high cholesterol, tobacco use and high blood pressure were all more prevalent among older Millennials when compared to members of Generation X when they were the same age.
The researchers also found that female Millennials are typically in worse health than males. Specifically, females are hindered by widespread endocrine conditions and Type 2 diabetes, the latter of which experts cannot currently explain.
The study highlighted a discrepancy in that 83 percent of Millennials believe themselves to be in good health. Additionally, only 68 percent of Millennials have a primary care physician.
The study states: "[This] data underscores the urgency for the healthcare community to recognize that Millennial Americans are experiencing double-digit increases in prevalence for eight of the top 10 health conditions. … The health status of Millennials will likely have substantial effects on the American economy over the next two decades—including workplace productivity and healthcare costs.”
The researchers will further illustrate the economic impact of Millennials' health in a forthcoming Blue Cross Blue Shield "Health of America" report, according to the study.
In February, a Lancet Public Health study reported that six cancers tied to obesity—colorectal, endometrial, gallbladder, kidney, multiple myeloma and pancreas—are currently on the rise among Millennials.