What a time to be a millennial.
We’ve long been branded generation snowflake and now it turns out we’re going to die younger than the generation that precedes us, if a new report is anything to go by.
A 32-page report published by health insurance federation Blue Cross Blue Shield detailed the horrific ways in which my generation will see its health decline and healthcare costs soar over the next 10 years. Cheers, boomers.
Using data from Blue Cross Shield, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and previous studies, the author claims millennials could just achieve the most depressing triple-whammy in history, by being simultaneously sicker, skinter and dying younger than the previous generation, Generation X.
The report references two potential, and very different futures. There’s a ‘baseline projection’, which is what we can look forward to if we manage to successfully correct our doomed behaviours and then there’s a much more terrifying ‘adverse projection’, which is what will happen if we continue down our current self-destructive path.
If we’re to take a look down the adverse projection, it predicts that millennials can expect at least a 40% increase in mortality in comparison to our predecessors.
Our millennial peers living over the pond in the US can also expect to pay a third more in healthcare costs than the previous generation of the same age, and as a result, make around $4,500 less per year.
Suddenly I’m feeling a deep and overwhelming gratitude for our beloved NHS.
The report predicts millennials will be less able to ‘contribute’ to the ‘US labour market’, because they’re expected to be ‘sicker’ and as it turns out, ill people aren’t as productive as their healthy peers. Now, that’s a turn for the books.
The authors really let rip when they reveal the potential cause behind this as being millennial ‘health shock’ or a phenomenon they compare to the Vietnam War and the HIV/AIDS crisis.
They put these major generational differences down to rapidly increasing ‘behavioural health’ problems or things such as depression, anxiety, ADD, ADHD and substance abuse.
Between 2014 and 2017, rates of depression and hyperactivity increased 30 per cent among millennials, however there are arguments which claim people are just more aware of mental health problems now which means more and more people are being properly diagnosed.
Either way, it’s looking pretty bleak.
BRB, I’m off to cheer myself up with some avocado on toast and a couple of Louis Theroux documentaries.
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Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist who started her career by producing The Royal Rosemurgey newspaper in 2004, which kept her family up to date with the goings on of her sleepy north east village. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining Tyla (formerly Pretty 52) in 2017, and progressing onto UNILAD in 2019.