(CBS Local) — The health of millennials is deteriorating more rapidly than the generation before them and that could have a crippling effect on the economy, according to a report published Wednesday. The study by Moody’s Analytics using data from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Health Index paints a dismal picture of how the 2007-09 economic recession affected millennials’ health.
Millennials, born from 1981 to 1996, suffer from higher rates of physical ailments, such as hypertension and high cholesterol, as well as behavioral health problems such as depression when compared to when Generation X, born between 1965 and 1980, was the same age, the research said.
Without intervention, millennials could feasibly see mortality rates climb up by more than 40 percent compared to Gen-Xers at the same age,” the report says.
In addition, health care costs for millennials are projected to be as much as 33 percent higher than Gen-Xers experienced at a comparable age.
More millennials are suffering from chronic illnesses — high blood pressure, depression, high cholesterol — and that could be hurting their economic potential https://t.co/NeT9TSYAFP
— Bloomberg Economics (@economics) November 6, 2019
“Under the most adverse set of projections, lower levels of health alone could cost millennials more than $4,500 per year in real per-capita incomes compared to similarly aged Gen-Xers,” the report says.
Researchers say it is likely that a tough economy has played a role in millennial health because the generation came of age during the Great Recession and is grappling with burdensome student-debt loads, said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics.
Zandi called it a self-reinforcing dynamic and “vicious cycle” that needed to be disrupted.
“To address this brewing crisis, it’s going to take action not only from the perspective of the economy but also from the perspective of health care,” he said.
American millennials, at nearly 73 million strong, are the largest contributors to the U.S. labor market, comprising more than 35 percent of all workers and rising.