Article

The Health Status of Young Adults in the United States

Department of Pediatrics, Division of Adolescent Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California 94143-0503, USA.
Journal of Adolescent Health (Impact Factor: 2.75). 10/2006; 39(3):305-17. DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2006.04.017
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The health issues of young adulthood have received relatively little attention compared with those of adolescence, although the critical issues in young adulthood parallel those of adolescence. Young adults often fare worse than adolescents on health indicators, with many measures of negative outcomes--including rates of injury, homicide, and substance use--peaking during the young adult years. The contextual factors shaping health status and access to care in young adulthood differ significantly from the context of adolescence. This article synthesizes national data to present a health profile of young adults, reviewing social indicators that describe the context of young adulthood and presenting measures of health status. We examine mortality, morbidity, risky behaviors, and health care access and utilization, identifying the most significant gender and racial/ethnic disparities. The article also identifies limitations of existing data and offers suggestions for future research and health monitoring in this area. We conclude with a discussion of current efforts to address the health and well-being of young adults and argue for creating a national health agenda for young adults that includes research, programs and policies to address health issues during this period of the lifespan.

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    • "Yet, the road to adulthood involves exploring various levels of independence and responsibilities under adult supervision . This transition from adolescence into young adulthood is often characterized by going off to college, joining the military, marrying and becoming a parent [2]. This transition period can affect one's health and medicine use due to increases in the prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases, obesity, smoking and alcohol use, as well as decreases in physical activity practice [3]. "
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    ABSTRACT: To estimate the point prevalence of self-medication among adolescents aged 18 years and to evaluate the type of drugs used (either over-the-counter or prescription drugs) and socioeconomic, health-related, and behavioral correlates of self-medication. This cross-sectional study used data from the 1993 Pelotas (Brazil) Birth Cohort Study. Data were obtained through the administration of a questionnaire to adolescents aged 18 years. The outcome variables were point prevalence of medicine use and self-medication collected by self-report. The independent variables studied were gender, continuous medicine use, socioeconomic status, schooling, self-rated health, body mass index, and physical activity levels. Medicines were classified into therapeutic groups according to the Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical classification system. A total of 4,106 adolescents were interviewed. The point prevalence of medicine use was 41.1% (95% confidence interval [CI] 39.6-42.6), and the proportion of self-medication among medicine users was 65.1% (95% CI 62.8-67.4). The point prevalence of self-medication was 26.7% (95% CI 25.4-28.1), and it was higher among female adolescents, those more educated, and those who rated their health as poor. Out of the drugs used for self-medication (58% of all drugs used), 1,003 (78.7%) were nonprescription drugs and 271 (21.3%) were prescription drugs. The most frequently used drugs for self-medication were analgesics (56.1%), systemic antihistamines (7.4%), and anti-inflammatory and antirheumatic products (7.1%). A high point prevalence of self-medication was found among adolescents, which is particularly concerning due to high use of prescription drugs for self-medication. Interventions are needed to promote rational use of medicines in this population.
    Journal of Adolescent Health 04/2014; 55(2). DOI:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2014.02.010 · 2.75 Impact Factor
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    • "Yet, the road to adulthood involves exploring various levels of independence and responsibilities under adult supervision . This transition from adolescence into young adulthood is often characterized by going off to college, joining the military, marrying and becoming a parent [2]. This transition period can affect one's health and medicine use due to increases in the prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases, obesity, smoking and alcohol use, as well as decreases in physical activity practice [3]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose To estimate the point prevalence of self-medication among adolescents aged 18 years and to evaluate the type of drugs used (either over-the-counter or prescription drugs) and socioeconomic, health-related, and behavioral correlates of self-medication. Methods This cross-sectional study used data from the 1993 Pelotas (Brazil) Birth Cohort Study. Data were obtained through the administration of a questionnaire to adolescents aged 18 years. The outcome variables were point prevalence of medicine use and self-medication collected by self-report. The independent variables studied were gender, continuous medicine use, socioeconomic status, schooling, self-rated health, body mass index, and physical activity levels. Medicines were classified into therapeutic groups according to the Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical classification system. Results A total of 4,106 adolescents were interviewed. The point prevalence of medicine use was 41.1% (95% confidence interval [CI] 39.6–42.6), and the proportion of self-medication among medicine users was 65.1% (95% CI 62.8–67.4). The point prevalence of self-medication was 26.7% (95% CI 25.4–28.1), and it was higher among female adolescents, those more educated, and those who rated their health as poor. Out of the drugs used for self-medication (58% of all drugs used), 1,003 (78.7%) were nonprescription drugs and 271 (21.3%) were prescription drugs. The most frequently used drugs for self-medication were analgesics (56.1%), systemic antihistamines (7.4%), and anti-inflammatory and antirheumatic products (7.1%). Conclusions A high point prevalence of self-medication was found among adolescents, which is particularly concerning due to high use of prescription drugs for self-medication. Interventions are needed to promote rational use of medicines in this population.
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    • "Due to the peak in risk taking behaviours during young adulthood [16], research suggests that young adults may fare worse on national health indicators when compared with other age groups. Despite this, there has been little attention paid to developing a national strategic plan that addresses the needs of this population group [15]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Young adulthood is an important transitional period during which there is a higher risk of individuals engaging in behaviours which could have a lasting impact on their health. Research has shown that young adults are the lowest responders to surveys about healthcare experiences and are also the least satisfied with the care they receive. However, the factors contributing to this reduced satisfaction are not clear. The focus of our research was to explore the needs and experiences of young adults around healthcare services with an aim of finding out possible reasons for lower satisfaction. Twenty young adults were interviewed at GP surgeries and at a local young adult advice agency, exploring their experiences and use of primary care services. Interviews were analysed using thematic analysis. The use of primary care services varied amongst the young adult interviewees. Many interviewees reported positive experiences; those who did not linked their negative experiences to difficulties in negotiating their care with the health care system, and reported issues with trust, and communication difficulties. Most of the interviewees were unaware of the use of patient surveys to inform healthcare planning and delivery and were not inclined to take part, mainly because of the length of surveys and lack of interest in the topic area. In order to effectively address the health needs of young adults, young adults need to be educated about their rights as patients, and how to most efficiently use primary care services. GPs should be alert to effective means of approaching and handling the healthcare needs of young adults. A flexible, varied approach is needed to gathering high quality data from this group in order to provide services with information on the changes necessary for making primary care services more accessible for young adults.
    BMC Family Practice 12/2013; 14(1):202. DOI:10.1186/1471-2296-14-202 · 1.74 Impact Factor
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