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Ticking time bomb of teen health problems

Monday October 16th, 2017

Britain needs to invest more in the health of teenagers and young adults to tackle a “ticking time bomb” of problems, campaigners say today.

People in their late teens face a surge of health risks, according to the Association for Young People’s Health.

The findings come from a review of data on the health of children and adults aged between ten and 24.

The report found that teenagers consume eight times the recommended levels of sugar – and that 46% of 15-year-olds have tooth decay.

It reports that 62% of diagnoses of chlamydia are made in those aged 16 to 25 – while the years between ten and 14 are the peak age for diagnosis of type 1 diabetes.

Meanwhile 25% of women aged between 16 and 24 report symptoms of anxiety and depression.

The researchers found that 50% of students aged 14 and 15 have visited a GP within three months – but GPs do not have mandatory training on young people’s health.

Dr Rakhee Shah, a paediatric registrar who helped to write the report, said: “These data show that we are witnessing a ticking young people’s health time bomb. Although young people are frequent users of health services, they often seem invisible and their needs are often not met effectively.”

Professor Russell Viner, from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health said: “These latest figures from AYPH provide further grim, yet wholly familiar, reading for anyone working in the field of children and young people’s health.

“So often this age group is forgotten and the report importantly highlights the many areas where our health services need to be better geared towards catering to this vulnerable group, but what is also clear is that poverty magnifies and hugely impacts upon child health and wellbeing.”

Tags: Infancy to Adolescence | NHS | UK News

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