The growing problem afflicting young Australian women

Charlotte EltonThe West Australian
Young Australian women are prone to chronic health conditions.
Camera IconYoung Australian women are prone to chronic health conditions. Credit: fizkes - stock.adobe.com

Young Australian women are more than twice as troubled by many chronic health conditions as their mothers.

A study published in the PLOS one journal today reveals women born between 1989 and 1995 — currently aged from 25 to 31 — struggle with mental health conditions, diabetes and multi-morbidity at far higher levels than women who were the equivalent age-group in 2003.

A whopping 70.4 per cent of the younger cohort reported a lifetime mental health condition, compared with just 23.6 per cent of women this age in 2003.

The rate of diabetes has trebled — from 1.3 per cent in 2003 to 4.5 per cent in 2020.

Almost a fifth (17.9 per cent) of young women now suffer from multiple chronic conditions, a predicament known as multi-morbidity. Just 9.1 per cent of the 2003 cohort had this.

Australia is facing a “chronic health crisis,” the report says.

“Despite the increased focus on preventative health strategies, chronic disease rates continue to rise,” it said.

“Women in particular appear to be disproportionately affected and at younger ages compared to men.”

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