Trying to stay on top of wellness and health news and research can be overwhelming. Here is a health and wellness report shared by Blue Cross Blue Shield and WellBe-style:
1. What: In a comprehensive report focusing on the 55 million millennial Americans who are commercially insured, Blue Cross Blue Shield found that millennials, on average, are less healthy than the previous generation, and that health begins to decline at age 27.
The Details: The 2017 study showed that millennials (defined as people born between 1981 and 1996) were actually living at about 95% of their optimal health. Sounds good, right? But diving deeper into the data showed that millennials on the older end (age 34-36) have higher rates for 10 serious conditions than did Gen X-ers when they were the same age. Those top 10 conditions were comprised of four physical ailments and six behavioral conditions, including high blood pressure, diabetes, Crohn’s, substance abuse, major depression, and hyperactivity. It’s notable that compared to the national population, millennials were more affected by behavioral health conditions, and that conditions with the largest growth in prevalence from 2014-2017 were depression, hyperactivity, and type II diabetes. The report also showed that the decline in millennials’ health begins at age 27. Um…yikes!
Why Does This Matter for My Health? If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’re a millennial, and if you’re not, odds are basically 100% that you know a good number of millennials. After all, there are 73 million of us in the U.S.! Either way, this news matters, a lot. It’s not just about millennials feeling sick or grappling with health issues in the moment: this report has serious repercussions for the future of the American workforce, economy, and healthcare system, as this huge generation will likely continue to face health issues as they become the dominant population.
The WellBe Takeaway: As we always say, the best way to deal with health conditions is to prevent them in the first place. While this report is startling, it provides us with some very useful information about what conditions to be on the lookout for, and motivates us to take preventative action against them — whether we’ve already passed that age 27 threshold (ahem, hello!) or not. It also shows us that things are getting worse as far as the chronic disease crisis in America, and taking action in our own lives and within our families and communities is more important than ever.