The most prevalent causes of disability for young people
across the world were due to psychiatric conditions rather than disease or
injury. According to a study published in the Lancet neuropsychiatric disorders
including major depression and alcohol use comprise 45% of the disability burden
among young people aged 10-24 years. This inference is based on surveyed data
from the World Health Organization's 2004 Global Burden of Disease report.
Among all age groups young people were responsible for 15.5%
of the total number of lost years of healthy living due to a disability or
death. The main risk factors were alcohol (accounting for 7% of the lost years
of healthy living), unsafe sex (4%) and iron deficiency (3%).
It has to be noted that young people's health
tends to be neglected because they are perceived as healthy. Identifying
problems earlier in life can improve longevity and quality of life.