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16/09/2010

WHO Factsheet on Youth People: Health Risks and Solutions

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has, as part of the International Year of Youth which started on the 12th of August, produced a factsheet on the health of youth.

According to the factsheet more than 1.8 million young people aged 15 to 24 die each year, and a much greater number of young people suffer from illnesses which hinder their ability to grow and develop to their full potential. A greater number still engage in behaviours that jeopardize not only their current state of health, but often their health for years to come.

Nearly two-thirds of premature deaths and one-third of the total disease burden in adults are associated with conditions or behaviours that began in their youth, including: tobacco use, a lack of physical activity, unprotected sex or exposure to violence.

Harmful use of alcohol is identified as one of the main health issues affecting young people.

“Harmful drinking among young people is an increasing concern in many countries. It reduces self-control and increases risky behaviours. It is a primary cause of injuries (including those due to road traffic accidents), violence (especially domestic violence) and premature deaths. Banning alcohol advertising and regulating access to it are effective strategies to reduce alcohol use by young people. Brief interventions of advice and counselling when alcohol use is detected can contribute to reducing harmful use.”

Please visit the WHO website to read the full factsheet.