By Age: Teens


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Generally the adolescent or teenage years are times of good health, growth, and increasing maturity. However, there are also an increasingly large number of teens who are overweight or obese and thus increasingly at risk for conditions such as heart disease or diabetes either immediately or later in life.

Sexual conditions: Adolescence is also the start of the sexual awakening of puberty. With this new excitement also comes the new responsibilities of avoiding pregnancy and the numerous sexually transmitted diseases including HIV, genital herpes, chlamydia, PID, and various others.

Common conditions: Infectious conditions that occur commonly in teens include the usual suspects such as cold, flu, infectious diarrhea, mono, and various others. Other conditions that peak in the teen years include acne, asthma, gynecomastia, and allergies. Unfortunately, the teen years are also notable for eating disorders (i.e. anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating), depression, suicide, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, binge drinking, and accidents. Dental care may also be poorly attended leading to various dental conditions.

Other conditions: Adolescence is also a peak time for various uncommon autoimmune diseases such as Type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis. Other conditions that may affect teens and young adults include schizophrenia and narcolepsy. Behavioral conditions such as anxiety, ADHD, phobias, or OCD may also appear in adolescence.

Death rates: Fortunately, death occurs rarely in teens, at a rate of about 1 in 5,000 each year.

Top Ten Causes of Death: For ages 10-14 years, the top ten causes of death in USA 1999 were: accidents (39.6% of deaths), cancer (12.2%), homicide (6.0%), suicide (5.9%), congenital defects including chromosome conditions (5.4%), heart disease (3.9%), chronic lower respiratory disease (2.2%), influenza and pneumonia (1.1%), cerebrovascular diseases including stroke (0.9%), non-malignant cancers (0.9%), and other causes (21.9%) [CDC NVSR 2001]. For ages 15-19 years, the top ten causes of death in USA 1999 were: accidents (48.5% of deaths), homicide (15.2%), suicide (11.7%), cancer (5.4%), heart diseases (3.4%), congenital conditions including chromosome conditions (1.6%), chronic lower respiratory diseases (0.8%), influenza and pneumonia (0.5%), cerebrovascular diseases including stroke (0.5%), non-malignant cancers (0.4%), and other causes (12.0%) [CDC NVSR 2001].

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