Global Measures of Health Risks and Disease Burden Adolescents

Authors: George Patton, Peter Azzopardi, Elissa Kennedy, Carolyn Coffey, Ali Mokdad


While adolescents commonly are viewed as healthy in comparison with other age groups, they face a rising number of preventable causes of death due to HIV/AIDS, TB, and maternal causes as well as increased risks to health from alcohol and drug use, unsafe sex, and tobacco use. More evidence is needed to promote effective responses especially in the areas of mental health, and programs should seek to capture such data from household surveys and from digital methods of data collection. The risk behaviors for which data has been collected vary by region, but typically include binge drinking, illicit substance use, underweight, overweight, sexual and reproductive health, and physical activity. Future research should use digital technologies to harmonize assessments across surveys based on standardized indicators and measures.