Behavioral Health Conditions More Common Among Massachusetts Millennials, Says New Study

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Older millennials in Massachusetts are more likely than their peers across the country to have behavioral health conditions, according to the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association report.

Six of the top 10 conditions affecting millennials are behavioral health conditions—depression, hyperactivity, psychotic conditions and substance use disorders, the report said, and millennials aged 34 to 36 in Massachusetts experience more behavioral health conditions than the national average, with only seven states faring worse.

“The fact that behavioral health conditions among Massachusetts millennials are above the national average may relate to the state of behavioral health care in Massachusetts,” Bruce Nash, chief physician executive at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, said in a statement obtained by the State House News Service. “We have more behavioral health professionals per capita than any other state. This larger care network means more diagnoses of these conditions. It’s incumbent on the health care community to ensure that people are getting the care they need.”

The report also found that for the average millennial, health begins to decline at age 27, that millennials are not as healthy as members of Generation X were at the same age, and that about a third of millennials nationwide “have conditions that significantly affect their health, reducing their quality of life and life expectancy.”

The report also highlighted some troubling national trends. Between 2014 and 2017, there was a 31 percent increase in major depression among millennials, a 29 percent increase in hyperactivity, a 22 percent increase in type II diabetes, and a 16 percent increase in hypertension.

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