Millennials Are Less Healthy Than Previous Generations And That Could Hurt U.S. Economy

Nov 11, 2019

Moody’s Analytics just looked at the economic consequences of a report by Blue Cross Blue Shield on millennial health. And it’s not good.   

The BCBS report found that millennials have higher rates of diabetes, high cholesterol, and hypertension than the Generation X, that came before them. It also found that millennials are suffering more from behavioral health problems like major depression and substance abuse.

Mark Talluto, Vice President of analytics for the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, said the trend is partly related to stress. 

“There is a significant amount of stress that this generation faces in terms of high expectations on them, as well as economic stress in the form of significant student loan debt,” he said.

Talluto said his company asked the financial services firm, Moody’s Analytics, to assess what this all means for economic health in the U.S. and the results are in.  

“Poor health will likely lead to more millennials missing work, having an impact on productivity, and/or quitting their jobs,” he said.

The Moody’s Analytics report also predicted if the current declining trend in millennial health continues, the whole economy will suffer and mortality rates could rise as much as 40%.

For our region there was one silver lining. Millennials in the Mountain West states are healthier than other parts of the country when it comes to physical conditions. But Talluto said they are still suffering from major depression and alcohol and substance use disorders.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUER in Salt Lake City, KUNR in Nevada and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.