Sign up free to the Lancet and get info on sustainable youth development

Sign up free to the Lancet and get info on sustainable youth development

Our future: a Lancet commission on adolescent health and wellbeing focuses on the study of children and young people and some of the most pressing issues facing our generation. The largest generation of adolescents and young people in human history (1.8 billion) demands more attention and action. Adolescents and young adults face unprecedented social, economic, and cultural change. This new Lancet Commission argues that there are both current threats, if inaction continues, but also tremendous unrealised opportunities not only for the health and wellbeing of young people themselves but also for the future of society and future generations




Young people’s health has emerged as a neglected yet pressing issue in global development.

Changing patterns of young people’s health have the potential to undermine future population health as well as global economic development unless timely and effective strategies are put into place. We report the past, present, and anticipated burden of disease in young people aged 10–24 years from 1990 to 2013 using data on mortality, disability, injuries, and health risk factors.

"Investments in adolescent health and wellbeing bring benefits today, for decades to come, and for the next generation".

Some findings:
The leading causes of death in 2013 for young people aged 10–14 years were HIV/AIDS, road injuries, and drowning (25·2%), whereas transport injuries were the leading cause of death for ages 15–19 years (14·2%) and 20–24 years (15·6%). Maternal disorders were the highest cause of death for young women aged 20–24 years (17·1%) and the fourth highest for girls aged 15–19 years (11·5%) in 2013.

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The global burden of road traffic crashes is the biggest for youth. Read more in our Annual Report.

Some Key Recommendations:

Findings call for increased efforts to improve health and reduce the burden of disease and risks for diseases in later life in young people. Moreover, because of the large variations between countries in risks and burden, a global approach to improve health during this important period of life will fail unless the particularities of each country are taken into account. Finally, results call for a strategy to overcome the financial and technical barriers to adequately capture young people’s health risk factors and their determinants in health information systems.

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Read about how we empower young people to take action for their safety.

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