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.

Full-text

Available from: Sally H Adams, Jun 16, 2015
0 Followers
 · 
268 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Sociodemographic differences in injury mortality are well-established, but population-level studies on social patterns of injury morbidity remain few in numbers, particularly among young adults. Yet injuries are the leading cause of mortality, morbidity and disability among young people. Studies among children have shown steep social gradients in severe injuries, but less is known on the social patterning of injuries in late adolescence and early adulthood, when young people are in the process of becoming independent adults. This study examines how young adults' current living arrangements, education, main economic activity, and parental social background are associated with hospital-treated injuries in late adolescence and early adulthood. The study uses prospective, individual-level data gathered from several administrative sources. From a representative 11% sample of the total Finnish population, we included young people between ages 17-29 years during the follow-up (N = 134 938). We used incidence rates and Cox proportional hazards models to study hospital-treated injuries and poisonings in 1998-2008. Higher rates of injury were found among young adults living alone, single mothers, the lower educated and the non-employed, as well as those with lower parental social background, experience of childhood family changes or living with a single parent, and those who had left the parental home at a young age. Injury risks were consistently higher among young adults with lower education, but current living arrangements and main economic activity showed some age-related nuances in the associations: both earlier and later than average transitions in education, employment, and family formation associated with increased injury risks. The social differentials were strongest in poisonings, intentional self-harm, and assaults, but social patterns were also found in falls, traffic-related injuries and other unintentional injuries, underlining the existence of multiple distinct mechanisms and pathways behind the differentials. The transition to adulthood is a life period of heightened risk of injury, during which both parental social background and the young people's own social position are important determinants of serious injuries that require inpatient care.
    BMC Public Health 04/2015; 15(1):429. DOI:10.1186/s12889-015-1763-9 · 2.32 Impact Factor
  • 07/2013; 2(3):163-172. DOI:10.1177/2167696813513563
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objectives. We assessed disparities in weight and weight-related behaviors among college students by sexual orientation and gender. Methods. We performed cross-sectional analyses of pooled annual data (2007-2011; n = 33 907) from students participating in a Minnesota state-based survey of 40 two- and four-year colleges and universities. Sexual orientation included heterosexual, gay or lesbian, bisexual, unsure, and discordant heterosexual (heterosexuals engaging in same-sex sexual experiences). Dependent variables included weight status (derived from self-reported weight and height), diet (fruits, vegetables, soda, fast food, restaurant meals, breakfast), physical activity, screen time, unhealthy weight control, and body satisfaction. Results. Bisexual and lesbian women were more likely to be obese than heterosexual and discordant heterosexual women. Bisexual women were at high risk for unhealthy weight, diet, physical activity, and weight control behaviors. Gay and bisexual men exhibited poor activity patterns, though gay men consumed significantly less regular soda (and significantly more diet soda) than heterosexual men. Conclusions. We observed disparities in weight-, diet-, and physical activity-related factors across sexual orientation among college youths. Additional research is needed to better understand these disparities and the most appropriate intervention strategies to address them. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print November 13, 2014: e1-e11. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2014.302094).