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Millennials Face Declining Mental and Physical Health

According to a new report by Blue Cross Blue Shield, millennials are in trouble when it comes to their health. Researchers say that the way things are going, millennials could experience a 40% increase in mortality compared to Gen Xers of the same age, due to faster rates of physical and mental health decline.

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The report showed a 30% increase in rates of depression and hyperactivity among American millennials from 2014 to 2017, along with a rise in accidental deaths. Accidental deaths caused specifically by opioid overdoses, including heroin, have increased by 1,400% among all age groups, from 2010 to 2017. Similarly, a report from earlier this year found that more millennials were dying “deaths of despair” — a term used to describe deaths related to drugs, alcohol and suicide, which accounted for the deaths of 36,000 American millennials in 2017 alone.

The Trust for America’s Health and Well Being Trust report attributes the increase to several factors, including the financial problems many millennials are facing due to record levels of student-loan debt, an expensive housing market and rising living costs, expensive healthcare and expensive childcare. Coined “the affordability crisis,’ research has shown that the baby boomer generation had to work 306 hours at a minimum wage job to pay off four years of college, while millennials would have to work 4,4569 hours.

The Blue Cross report found that one in five millennials diagnosed with major depression does not seek treatment, and the most likely reason is because they can’t afford it. So, the cycle goes: Financial struggles are taking a toll on the health of millennials, but they can’t afford to seek treatment for ill health, due to financial struggles.

The average yearly cost of healthcare per person in 1960 was $146. In 2016, the cost increased to $10,345. According to projections, the average yearly cost of healthcare per person in 2023 will be $14,944.

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