53.8 Percent of Younger Adults Report at Least One Chronic Condition

THURSDAY, July 28, 2022 — More than half of young adults aged 18 to 34 years report having at least one chronic condition, with obesity, depression, and high blood pressure the most prevalent conditions, according to research published in the July 29 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Kathleen B. Watson, Ph.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues measured the prevalence of 11 chronic conditions among adults aged 18 to 34 years overall and by selected characteristics using data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.

The researchers found that 53.8 percent of adults aged 18 to 34 years reported having at least one chronic condition in 2019, and 22.3 percent reported having more than one chronic condition. Obesity, depression, and high blood pressure were the most prevalent conditions (25.5, 21.3, and 10.7 percent, respectively). The most noticeable differences in the prevalence of having a chronic condition were seen between young adults with and without a disability (75.8 versus 48.3 percent) and between those who were unemployed and students (62.3 and 45.8 percent, respectively). The likelihood of reporting binge drinking, smoking, or physical inactivity was increased for adults aged 18 to 34 years with a chronic condition.

“Approximately one half of young adults reported at least one chronic condition,” the authors write. “Continued efforts are needed to help identify, develop, and modify, where necessary, effective strategies to prevent, treat, and manage chronic conditions in young adults.”

Abstract/Full Text

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