Nearly one-third of millennials have a behavioral health condition, study suggests

Oct. 27, 2020

New findings from a Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) study found that nearly one-third of millennials have a behavioral health condition, with significant increases in the prevalence of conditions like major depression (43 percent), ADHD (39 percent) and substance use disorder (17 percent) since 2014, according to a press release.

The findings come from a new BCBSA report, “Millennial Health Trends in Behavioral Conditions," part of Blue Cross Blue Shield’s The Health of America Report series. The report analyzed a data sample of 55 million commercially insured Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) members who belong to the millennial age group, defined as people ages 22-37 in 2018, based on the definition developed by Pew Research Center, and provides an update to the initial report on the health of millennials published last year.

 According to BCBS, millennials with behavioral health conditions are at nearly two-times the risk of having chronic physical conditions such as:

·        Hypertension (1.9X)

·         Crohn’s disease/ulcerative colitis (1.9X)

·         Type II diabetes (2.1X)

·         Coronary artery disease (2.7X)

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has had a larger negative health impact on the millennial age group compared to their baby boomer peers. According to a recent BCBSA survey, 92 percent of millennials said the COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on their mental health, compared to 70 percent among baby boomers. Additionally, 80 percent of millennials believe that their mental health impacts their physical health, compared to 62 percent of baby boomers.

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