Elk Grove Village, IL—(ENEWSPF)—August 27, 2015. Teenagers who don’t see a doctor for health problems are more likely to have poor health in general, and a new study shows they also become sicker adults. The study, “Unmet Health Care Need in U.S. Adolescents and Adult Health Outcomes,” in the September 2015 Pediatrics (published online Aug. 17), examined data from 14,800 subjects and found that the odds of adverse health outcomes in adulthood were 13 percent to 52 percent higher among those (19.2 percent) who reported unmet health care needs in adolescence.
Cost of health care was not the dominant reason that health needs went unmet for those studied; only 14.8 percent cited cost, compared to 37.2 percent who cited perceived low importance, 32 percent who had access issues, and 22.7 percent who worried about the negative consequences of health care.
Whereas previous research has shown that improving access to health care for adults may have limited impact on future health costs, the authors of this study concluded that reducing unmet health care needs among adolescents may be a highly effective investment to improve health outcomes and also reduce health care costs.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 64,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. (www.aap.org)