Entries in Young Adults (8)


Stroke Patients Are Getting Younger, Study Finds

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Having a stroke may not be just a concern for the elderly.  New research shows young adults are having strokes at a faster rate, and people under 55 make up an increased percentage of all strokes.

In a new study, published in the journal Neurology, researchers looked at more than 1 million American adults and found that the rate of first stroke in patients age 20 to 54 had jumped from 12.9 percent in 1993 and 1994 to 18.6 percent in 2005.

Though the study authors did not look into what is causing the upsurge in young strokes, they say the study results may be a reflection of an increase in risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes and smoking in younger patients.

When compared with data from the National Examination Survey for 1999-2000 and 2005-2006 prevalence rates for the leading risk factors for higher among patients in the same age range, MedPage Today reports.

The authors noted, according to MedPage, "the prevalence of stroke risk factors, including hypertension, diabetes, [coronary heart disease] and current smoking are all elevated in the younger stroke population compared with the population survey."

Stroke is fourth leading cause of death in the U.S., and can come with lasting effects, including paralysis and speech impairment, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Young People Admit It's Tough Becoming an Adult

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WORCESTER, Mass.) -- People between the ages of 18 and 29 seem to have it made since they’re young with their whole lives ahead of them.  But if you ask their opinions about it, young adulthood isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be, according to a survey commissioned by Clark University in Worcester, Mass.

In fact, just under half in this group feel they’ve actually reached adulthood, with nearly as many admitting that in some ways they don’t feel like they’ve reached it quite yet.

Of the 1,000 people surveyed, 36 percent believe the most important qualification for achieving adulthood is accepting responsibility for one’s self, while three in ten say it has to do with becoming financially independent.  At the bottom of the list is getting married, with just 4 percent thinking that's what becoming an adult is all about.

Meanwhile, the 18- to 29-year-olds considered the Millennials are conflicted about what to feel about their situation.  While just over eight in ten say “anything is possible,” two-thirds complain about uncertainty, half admit to anxiety and a third feel depressed.

As for their relations with parents, half say they’re in daily or almost daily contact with mom and dad, and a third grouse that “my parents are more involved in my life than I really want them to be” -- a sign of so-called “helicopter parents.”

While economic times are tough, 38 percent say they don’t depend at all on their parents for financial support although 16 percent do frequently, 16 percent say regularly and 13 percent do occasionally.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Fake Pot Sending Increasing Number of Kids to ER

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- An increasing number of teens and young adults are turning to synthetic marijuana compounds with nicknames such as "K2," "Spice" and "Mr. Smiley" in search of a legal high.  But as several new case reports point out, more and more teens and young adults who use these substances are turning up in hospitals with signs of intoxication.

In the latest edition of the journal Pediatrics, physicians from Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., presented three case studies of teenagers who came to the emergency room after they each ingested fake pot.

Each teen suffered from a variety of serious adverse effects after they ingested these marijuana-mimicking substances.  The authors described symptoms such as rapid heart beat, high blood pressure, excessive sweating and rigidity.  Two of them also became extremely agitated. 

All three survived and were eventually released from the hospital.

"We became concerned about it after seeing these teenagers, and when we researched the literature, we realized there is very little out there about the effects of these compounds," said Dr. Joanna Cohen, lead author and associate professor of pediatric emergency medicine at Children's National Medical Center.  "We wanted to publish these case reports mostly because we wanted to share the information we had gathered to let the medical community know what we were seeing."

These compounds are banned in almost every state, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration recently extended a ban on some of the chemicals used to produce these substances.

The compounds are relatively new, and clinicians don't always immediately realize what's going on with people who come to emergency rooms after smoking them.  The chemicals also do not show up in routine drug screenings.

The teenagers told medical staff what substances they smoked, which Cohen said is the only way staff knew what caused their symptoms.´╗┐

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Affordable Care Act Credited with Reducing Ranks of Young Uninsured

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama’s 2010 overhaul of the nation’s health insurance system appears to have helped significantly reduce the number of uninsured American young adults, according to a new Gallup survey and U.S. Census data.

The percentage of 18- to 25-year-olds without health insurance dropped 3.6 points since the third quarter of 2010, when a key provision of the Affordable Care Act allowing many young adults to remain on their parents’ health plans first took effect, Gallup found.

Roughly one quarter -- 24.4 percent -- now report being uninsured, down from 28 percent late last year. The decline represents nearly one million more young adults who now have health insurance, according to official estimates based on the Gallup data.

“Going without coverage puts every young American just a car accident or surprise diagnosis away from a lifetime of medical debt or worse,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “The good news is today one million young adults are no longer living with that fear and uncertainty.”

The Gallup findings were corroborated by a separate U.S. Census analysis released earlier this month that also noted a decline in uninsured young adults and simultaneous increase in those with coverage. Both studies attributed the change to the Affordable Care Act.

Democrats and the White House have hailed the findings as evidence the controversial health care law is having a positive effect, despite popular skepticism of the law and a Republican-led campaign to repeal it.

Half of all Americans oppose the law, fearful of a perceived negative impact on the economy and federal deficit, a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll found. Fewer -- just 37 percent -- said they favor repealing all or part of the law.

Some provisions, including the mandate allowing young adults under age 26 to remain on their parents’ health insurance and a ban on restrictions for preexisting conditions, remain popular.

Administration officials said Wednesday that an individual insurance mandate and other measures aimed at expanding insurance options would have the biggest impact on reducing the overall number of Americans without health insurance when they take effect in 2014 -- but they’re also among the most unpopular.

The mandate alone faces constitutional challenges in several ongoing cases that will likely reach the U.S. Supreme Court. Republicans have also vowed to do everything they can to hamstring implementation of that part of the law.

Nearly one in five Americans 25 to 64 years old does not have health insurance, according to Gallup -- that's roughly 30 million Americans.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Baby Boomers Redefining Grandparenthood

PhotoAlto Agency RF / Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The image of grandparents as frail 80-year-olds  no longer matches reality for the majority of grandmas and grandpas.

That's because the 32 million baby boomers who are grandparents are significantly younger the grandparents of previous generations.

The average age of first grandparenthood has dropped in recent years from 48 to 47, according to the AARP.

With younger parents, many say the relationship between grandchild and grandparent has changed significantly.

Younger grandparents are not only better at keeping up with grandchildren's agility and energy levels, but they are also more inclined to stay current on their technology skills.

From texting and chatting on Facebook, to picking kids up at school, the increased involvement of younger grandparents is ultimately redefining the connotations that come along with grandparenting.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Healthcare Essential to Young Adults, Yet Nearly Half Cannot Afford It

Medioimages/Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Healthcare is something we all need, yet millions of Americans don't have it -- particularly young adults between the ages of 19 and 29. But a new report released by a private, charitable foundation that promotes a quality healthcare system says health reform legislation is making a difference.

Nearly 15 million young adults aged 19 to 29 are uninsured and, according to a new Commonwealth Fund report, almost half of them in 2010 could not afford to go to the doctor, get a prescription filled or get other medical care they needed.  

But that's changing, the authors say, due to the Affordable Care Act.

Since becoming a law in March 2010, the bill helped 600,000 young adults to get coverage by allowing them to stay on their parents health insurance until the age of 26.  By the end of 2013, that number is expected to soar to 1.7 million.

The report says uninsured young adults will reap the biggest benefits of health reform in 2014 when they will gain access to subsidized coverage.  An expanded Medicaid program could open the door for more than seven million to get insurance, while another five million may opt for subsidized private coverage through health insurance exchanges.

The authors conclude that health reform is essential for young adults. And while some strides have been made, the Affordable Care Act will ensure nearly all of them have coverage by 2014.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


How Many Young Adults Have High Blood Pressure?

Jeffrey Hamilton/Thinkstock(CHAPEL HILL, N.C.) -- About 75 million American adults have high blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association.  But figuring out how many young adults are living with high blood pressure may be more difficult than previously thought.  

A large national survey undertaken during 2007 and 2008 reported that one in 25 adults aged 20 to 39 had high blood pressure.  But the authors of a study from the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health, using a different survey, found that number to be much larger:  almost one in five for young adults aged 24 to 32.  

So why this large discrepancy?  The authors aren’t sure, but they say that “investigations into the reasons underlying the reported differences between …[the two surveys] will no doubt yield additional insight into the measurement of high blood pressure in the young adult population.”

The Gillings School findings are published in the journal Epidemiology.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


YouTube Vids on Cutting: Harmful or Helpful?

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(ONTARIO, Canada) -- YouTube provides easy access to videos of almost anything, but what is the impact on viewers, especially younger viewers, when "anything" includes hundreds of photos, video clips and montages of self-harming behaviors such as cutting and self-mutilation?

In a study that analyzed the videos, Canadian researchers found that the 100 most popular videos portraying self-harm on YouTube have been viewed more than 2 million times and selected as "favorite" more than 12,000 times, triggering concern over what kind of impact the sharing and viewing of these videos may be having on those at risk for self-injurious behavior.

"We found that very few videos actually encourage self-injury," says the lead author on the study, Stephen Lewis of the University of Guelph in Ontario. "Most were neutral or hopeful for overcoming this issue.”

Concerned for the potential risks, YouTube contacted researchers and has since removed the videos they considered inappropriate content, Lewis says.

Self-injury behavior, which, in the videos, most often took the form of self-cutting, is known as non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) because while it involves the deliberate destruction of one's own body tissue, it is not necessarily driven by a desire for suicide. Often, self-harmers report that cutting is a form of coping with emotional pain and that the act of inflicting pain on themselves provides powerful momentary relief from mental distress, says Kim Gratz, director of personality disorders research at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

Though it's hard to gauge the prevalence of this behavior, Gratz says that studies find that between 17 and 40 percent of college students admit to committing self harm and between 15 and 30 percent of high school students do.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio´╗┐

ABC News Radio