KEY POINTS

  • About 44% of older millennials already suffer from at least one chronic health condition, a survey has found
  • Migraines, asthma and depression are the most common conditions among millennials born between 1981 and 1988
  • More millennials are expected to be diagnosed with health conditions once the pandemic ends, health experts say

Nearly half of older millennials already have at least one chronic health condition by the time they turn 40, a recent survey has found. Its findings suggested that millennials are generally less healthy than Generation X when they were at the same age.

In a survey conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of CNBC Make It, data revealed that about 44% of millennials born between 1981 and 1988 reported having been diagnosed with at least one chronic ailment. The survey was conducted among over 4,000 adults in the U.S. Around 830 of the respondents were between the ages of 33 and 40, CNBC reported.

The most common conditions among the group were migraine headaches, major depression and asthma, followed by type 2 diabetes and hypertension. CNBC's graph also featured conditions such as obesity, alcohol use disorder and heart disease.

Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association, said that there's "no question" that evidence has suggested many millennials are unhealthier than expected.

“Hypertension, diabetes and obesity drive a lot of that," he said, adding that the obesity epidemic may be one of the root causes of the rise in rates of hypertension and some types of cancer.

Aside from impairing millennials' lifespan, the prevalence of these diseases also puts a big dent in their wallets. A study by Cardiovascular Business has found that those diagnosed with chronic conditions spend about twice as much on out-of-pocket healthcare expenses than those without any medical issues.

Other than out-of-pocket spending, millennials with chronic health conditions could also expect to see their annual income reduced by as much as $4,500. This is according to a 2019 report by Blue Cross Blue Shield. Data suggested that medical expenses, as well as reduced number of work hours, brought about by poor health could contribute to the significant reduction in a person's annual income.

“At the end of the day, if these trends continue, then you’ll have higher health-care costs,” Benjamin said. “You’ll be exchanging the baby boomer generation for a generation with even higher health-care costs just because of normal inflation and the fact these chronic diseases are there.”

Health experts such as Benjamin expect more millennials to be diagnosed with health conditions once the pandemic lifts due to emerging shifts in health trends.

Millennials Are Stressed Millenials are more stressed than ever nowadays. Here, Lydia Ko of New Zealand shows her frustration on the 18th green during day five of the New Zealand Women's Open at Windross Farm on October 2, 2017 in Auckland, New Zealand. Photo: Hannah Peters/Getty Images