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October 03, 2019

The top 5 millennial health issues – and what to do about them

Older millennials suffer from these conditions at higher rates than Gen Xers did

Adult Health Millennials
Millennial Health Issues Helena Lopes/

The top 5 health issues affecting millennials are major depression, hyperactivity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension and psychotic disorders, according to the latest Blue Cross Blue Shield Health Index.

While millennials – people born between 1981 and 1996 – are generally living healthy lives, the latest numbers from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Health Index show a concerning trend among older millennials (ages 34 -36). These millennials are being diagnosed with top health conditions at a higher rate than Generation X was at the same age.

The following top 5 millennial health issues are based on their increased prevalence in millennials between 2014 and 2017.


One of the biggest concerns for millennials is major depression. Symptoms include "distinctly depressed or irritable mood, loss of interest or pleasure, decreased or increased weight or appetite, decreased or increased sleep and appearing slowed down or agitated," according to Harvard Health.

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If you have been experiencing these symptoms, don’t suffer in silence. See a mental health provider to find out what treatment options and resources are available to you.


The National Institute of Mental Health defines hyperactivity as when “a person seems to move about constantly, including in situations in which it is not appropriate; or excessively fidgets, taps or talks.” Usually it is occurs in combination with inattention and impulsivity caused by Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. However, some people with ADHD only may struggle with either attention-deficit or hyperactivity/impulsivity.

If these behaviors are affecting your ability to function at work and at home, you should talk to your doctor about getting evaluated. Medication, psychotherapy, and education or training have been known to reduce symptoms.


Type 2 diabetes develops when your body has trouble regulating blood sugar. Obesity is a big risk factor. If you are thirsty and tired all the time and have unexplained weight loss, you may have type 2 diabetes. While there is no cure, the good news is that it can be managed through a combination of medications, insulin therapy and a healthier diet and exercise. Read more from the Mayo Clinic.


Hypertension or high blood pressure increases your risk for stroke, heart failure and other health conditions if left untreated – so don’t ignore it. Normal blood pressure includes systolic levels less than 120 mm Hg and diastolic levels less than 80 mm Hg.

Annual health checkups in which your blood pressure gets monitored are important to stay on top of this condition. Learn more from the Cleveland Clinic.


Psychosis "is a general term to describe a set of symptoms of mental illnesses that result in strange or bizarre thinking, perceptions (sight and sound), behaviors, and emotions,” according to Mental Health America. The most common psychotic disorders include schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder and delusional disorder.

If you are worried about yourself or a loved one, pay attention to changes in behaviors, thoughts and emotions. Learn more about symptoms and treatment here.

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