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J Adolesc Health. 2009 Jul;45(1):8-24. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2009.03.013.

Trends in adolescent and young adult health in the United States.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Francisco, California 94143-0503, USA.


This review presents a national health profile of adolescents and young adults (ages 10-24). The data presented include trends on demographics, mortality, health-related behaviors, and healthcare access and utilization, as well as the most significant gender and racial/ethnic disparities. Although the data show some improvement, many concerns remain. Encouraging trends-such as decreases in rates of homicide, suicide, and some measures of reproductive health-appear to be leveling off or, in some cases, reversing (e.g., birth and gonorrhea rates). Large disparities, particularly by race/ethnicity and gender, persist in many areas. Access to quality healthcare services remains a challenge, especially during young adulthood. Policy and research recommendations to improve health during these critical periods in the lifespan are outlined.

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