FRIDAY, April 16, 2021 (HealthDay News) – Gen X and Gen Y show poorer physical health and higher levels of unhealthy behavior compared to older generations. This is according to a study published online March 18 in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
Hui Zheng, Ph.D., and Paola Echave, both of Ohio State University in Columbus, studied trends in mental and physical health in 62,833 adults who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (1988-2016), and 625,221 adults who participated in the National Health Interview Surveys (1997 to 2018).
The researchers found that in all sex and race groups, the physiological dysregulation from Baby Boomers to the late Gen X and Gen Y increased continuously. The increase was greater in white men than in other groups. Black men had the largest increases in urine albumin (a marker of chronic inflammation). White individuals experienced marked increases in anxiety, depression, and heavy alcohol use, and also had higher levels of smoking and drug use than black and Hispanic individuals. The increase in physiological dysregulation was not related to smoking, but the obesity epidemic contributed to the increase in metabolic syndrome.
“The deterioration in physiological and mental health profiles in younger generations implies a challenging morbidity and mortality outlook for the United States that can be particularly unfavorable for whites,” the authors write.
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