Almost half of older millennials already have chronic illnesses, according to a new survey.
According to the CNBC / Harris poll, 44 percent of people born between 1981 and 1988 have been diagnosed with at least one chronic condition.
The most common illnesses in the group were migraines, depression and asthma, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure were not far away.
For most illnesses, older millennials were more likely to be chronically ill compared to the general public – including older ones.
And experts warn that the mysterious fallout from “Long-Covid” could result in the rate of chronic health problems only rising in the coming years.
About 46 percent of the 831 older millennials in the survey of 4,000 people said they had at least one chronic health condition (green) – more than the proportion of the general population (gray).
Gene therapies, cancer treatments, artificial hearts, the ability to restore eyesight, and the measles vaccine – the world has made amazing advances in the treatment and even cure of many devastating health problems.
But some of the most agonizing and deadly health problems still plague millions of Americans, and rates could rise in a younger age.
Among 831 respondents aged between 33 and 40, the survey found that 15 percent had high blood pressure or high blood pressure.
That’s only about half the rate in the general population, but the risks usually increase with age. According to Johns Hopkins University, the risk of high blood pressure increases to around 90 percent between the ages of 55 and 65.
Eleven percent of respondents said they had high cholesterol levels, for which the risk also increases with age.
Heart disease was already half as common in this age group as in the general population. Four percent have already been diagnosed with the number one American killer.
Every disease has a network of underlying drivers, including genetic predispositions.
However, experts have one particular suspect in mind: obesity.
Currently, only 10 percent of respondents said they were obese, compared to 13 percent of the general population (survey was conducted by more than 4,000 total adults in the United States).
In the US, however, obesity is generally on the rise, especially among young people.
Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association, told CNBC that there is no question that millennials have more health problems than doctors anticipated.
“High blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity drive a lot of it.”
He added that obesity increases the risk of the other two conditions, as well as the risk of some cancers such as colon cancer, which have seen an alarming increase in young people.
Annual cases in under-50s, colon cancer rates increased about 2.2 percent each year between 2011 and 2016, and 18 percent of all cases in 2020 were expected in Americans under 50.
The most common illnesses in the group were migraines, depression and asthma, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure were not far away
In the survey group, cancer was almost as common among older millennials as it was in the general population.
About four percent of 33 to 40 year olds said they had been diagnosed with cancer, compared with five percent of the entire survey group.
Millennials also reported high rates of depression (23 percent), migraines (26 percent), asthma (19 percent), IBS (12 percent), and hyperactivity and psychotic disorders (10 percent).
They also had above-average rates of alcohol and drug abuse (nine and eight percent, respectively).
It is too early to say how exactly the COVID-19 pandemic will affect the incidence of chronic illness, but the early warning signs are not good
It is estimated that one in 20 people with COVID-19 will have “long covid” – persistent symptoms that range from difficulty breathing to brain fog to fatigue, to name a few.
This suggests that millions of millennials with coronavirus could face a range of new chronic health problems, as well as a higher risk of known diseases.