WHY? According to the Lancet “cancer trends in young adults, often under 50 years, reflect recent changes in carcinogenic exposures, which could foreshadow the future overall disease burden. The risk of developing obesity-related cancer seems to be increasing in a stepwise manner in successively younger birth cohorts in the USA.
According to the Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) Health Index, in 2017, millennials had an average BCBS Health Index of 95.1, meaning millennials as a group were living at about 95% of their optimal health. However, further data analysis reveals that older millennials (age 34-36) have higher prevalence rates for nearly all of the top 10 conditions than did Generation X members when they were in the same age range (age 34-36). With younger generations facing health challenges at earlier ages than previous generations, measuring the health of millennials is critical to improving this generation’s long-term health and wellness.
Eight of the top 10 millennial health conditions — depression, substance use disorder, high blood pressure, hyperactivity, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, high cholesterol, tobacco use disorder and Type 2 diabetes — were also more common among older millennials in 2017 than they were among members of Gen X when they were the same age. (Rates of the remaining two of the top 10 conditions for this age group, alcohol use disorder and psychotic conditions, either stayed the same or decreased slightly, compared to Gen X.)
According to Cancer Research UK, more than 7 in 10 millennials (those born between 1981 and 1996) will be obese by the time they reach middle age, making them one of the heaviest generations in history.
After examining data on 30 different cancers for 67 percent of the U.S. population over a 20-year period (from 1995-2015), a study, funded by the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute, found that the risk of pancreatic, colorectal, endometrial, and gallbladder cancers in millennials is significantly higher than the risk Baby Boomers were facing when they were the same age.
The American Cancer Society (ACS) found that 6 cancers proven to be related to obesity are increasing more rapidly in people younger than 50 than those older than 50. The risks for these cancers progressively increased for younger and younger generations — meaning that millennials, as the youngest group studied, had the highest risk.
Middle-aged millennials are set to be the most overweight generation since records began, with experts warning they are unwittingly and significantly increasing their risk of cancer.
Republicans are trying to hurt Millennials
While Republicans slowly strip away the ACA they have also gone to court to try and remove pre-existing conditions from coverage. That could translate to bankruptcies and other financial hardships for unhealthy Millennials who get cancer at a time when insurance company profits are through the roof while we all pay more.
Millennials may be into wellness but the stress of trying to earn a living and find their American dream are taking their toll on health.