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KUNC is among the founding partners of the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration of public media stations that serve the Western states of Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

Millennials Are Less Healthy Than Previous Generations And That Could Hurt U.S. Economy

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Moody’s Analytics just looked at the economic consequences of a report by Blue Cross Blue Shield on millennial health. And it’s not good.   

The BCBS report found that millennials have higher rates of diabetes, high cholesterol, and hypertension than the Generation X, that came before them. It also found that millennials are suffering more from behavioral health problems like major depression and substance abuse.

Mark Talluto, Vice President of analytics for the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, said the trend is partly related to stress. 

“There is a significant amount of stress that this generation faces in terms of high expectations on them, as well as economic stress in the form of significant student loan debt,” he said.

Talluto said his company asked the financial services firm, Moody’s Analytics, to assess what this all means for economic health in the U.S. and the results are in.  

“Poor health will likely lead to more millennials missing work, having an impact on productivity, and/or quitting their jobs,” he said.

The Moody’s Analytics report also predicted if the current declining trend in millennial health continues, the whole economy will suffer and mortality rates could rise as much as 40%.

For our region there was one silver lining. Millennials in the Mountain West states are healthier than other parts of the country when it comes to physical conditions. But Talluto said they are still suffering from major depression and alcohol and substance use disorders.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUER in Salt Lake City, KUNR in Nevada and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.

Copyright 2020 91.5 KRCC. To see more, visit .

Ali Budner is KRCC's reporter for the Mountain West News Bureau, a journalism collaborative that unites six stations across the Mountain West, including stations in Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, and Montana to better serve the people of the region. The project focuses its reporting on topic areas including issues of land and water, growth, politics, and Western culture and heritage.
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