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Increasing health challenges facing adolescents

26 April 2012 - 5:33pm
Written by: 
Suzanne Still

An international study of adolescent health across 27 high-income countries has revealed that factors such as smoking and obesity must be addressed in order to prevent diseases later in life.

Published in the British journal The Lancet, the research evaluated the mortality rate of those aged between ten and 24.

Lead author of the initial paper, University of Melbourne professor Susan Sawyer, believes that the 4.8 million adolescent Australians are the missing link in the approach policymakers take to health in our country.

"The impacts of health-related behaviours that start in adolescents have impacts throughout their lives," she told News Limited sources yesterday (April 25).

"For instance tobacco and alcohol use or obesity and physical inactivity contribute to the epidemic of non-infectious disease such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and lung disease."

Some health insurance funds offer programs to address behavioural issues for those policyholders and their children that are deemed at risk of chronic conditions or diseases - comparing these policies through a trusted health insurance consultant could be a wise move.

Released to coincide with the UN Commission on Population and Development held in New York this week, the study was also published alongside a report that called for improved international data collection and reporting for adolescent health.