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Rising Depression and Hypertension in U.S. Millennials May Undercut Their Economic Potential [downloadable]

More millennials in the U.S. are suffering from chronic health problems, potentially restraining the lifetime economic potential of a generation of young adults.

A spike in conditions like depression, hypertension, and high cholesterol among younger people could increase health-care costs and lower incomes in coming years, according to a report  from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, a federation of 36 independent companies that together provide coverage for 1 in 3 Americans.

Between 2014 and 2017, rates of depression among millennials surged by 31%, while hyperactivity rose 29% and hypertension increased 16%, according to the report. High cholesterol and tobacco-use disorder also increased.

Without change, the effects of those trends could be game-changing for the U.S. and its economy, the report warned. Health-care costs in the U.S. are already high and climbing, on track to make up nearly 20% of gross domestic product in coming years.

It’s likely that a tough economy has played a role in millennial health, since the group entered the workforce in the middle of the 2008 financial crisis and is grappling with burdensome student-debt loads, said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics, which prepared the report using Blue Cross Blue Shield data. Zandi called it a self-reinforcing dynamic and “vicious cycle” that needs to be disrupted.

“To address this brewing crisis, it’s going to take action not only from the perspective of the economy but also from the perspective of health care,” he said in an interview.

Excerpted from “Rising Depression and Hypertension in U.S. Millennials May Undercut Their Economic Potential” in Fortune. Read the full article.

Download the report, The Economic Consequences of Millennial Health, from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association website.

Source: Fortune | Rising Depression and Hypertension in U.S. Millennials May Undercut Their Economic Potential, https://fortune.com/2019/11/06/depression-health-problems-millennials-economic-potential | © 2019 Fortune Media IP Limited

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