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Differences in health status and health behaviour among young Swiss adults between 1993 and 2003


Mohler-Kuo, Meichun; Wydler, Hans; Zellweger, Ueli; Gutzwiller, Felix (2006). Differences in health status and health behaviour among young Swiss adults between 1993 and 2003. Swiss Medical Weekly, 136(29-30):464-472.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Very few studies specifically have examined the health status of 20-year-olds. The purpose of the present study is to examine the changes in health status and behaviour among young Swiss adults between 1993 and 2003.
METHODS: The present study used data from the Swiss Federal Surveys of Adolescents, conducted in 1993 and 2003 among 20-year-olds in Switzerland. The study sample included military recruits and a representative community cohort. More than 20,000 subjects participated in each survey.
RESULTS: Young adults in 2003 reported fewer traffic- and sports-related accidents, but more work-related and other accidents versus young adults in 1993. A greater percentage of men were overweight or obese in 2003. Also in 2003, a greater percentage of males and females regularly used alcohol, cigarettes and cannabis. In particular, the number that smoked cigarettes daily increased by almost 30% and daily cannabis users increased more than two-fold. Young adults reported higher rates of inter-personal violence and theft in 2003. Compared to 1993, in 2003 young adults were more likely to report a sense of coherence; they also had fewer thoughts of suicide, but a greater sense that life is meaningless.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study provides the first Swiss data comparing the health status of 20-year-olds a decade apart. The findings suggest a significant increase in substance use. Health prevention efforts among young adults ages 18-24 should focus on substance use. In addition, developing strategies to decrease interpersonal violence, delinquent behaviour, and obesity should be a major public health priority.

OBJECTIVE: Very few studies specifically have examined the health status of 20-year-olds. The purpose of the present study is to examine the changes in health status and behaviour among young Swiss adults between 1993 and 2003.
METHODS: The present study used data from the Swiss Federal Surveys of Adolescents, conducted in 1993 and 2003 among 20-year-olds in Switzerland. The study sample included military recruits and a representative community cohort. More than 20,000 subjects participated in each survey.
RESULTS: Young adults in 2003 reported fewer traffic- and sports-related accidents, but more work-related and other accidents versus young adults in 1993. A greater percentage of men were overweight or obese in 2003. Also in 2003, a greater percentage of males and females regularly used alcohol, cigarettes and cannabis. In particular, the number that smoked cigarettes daily increased by almost 30% and daily cannabis users increased more than two-fold. Young adults reported higher rates of inter-personal violence and theft in 2003. Compared to 1993, in 2003 young adults were more likely to report a sense of coherence; they also had fewer thoughts of suicide, but a greater sense that life is meaningless.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study provides the first Swiss data comparing the health status of 20-year-olds a decade apart. The findings suggest a significant increase in substance use. Health prevention efforts among young adults ages 18-24 should focus on substance use. In addition, developing strategies to decrease interpersonal violence, delinquent behaviour, and obesity should be a major public health priority.

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24 citations in Web of Science®
27 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI)
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2006
Deposited On:24 Sep 2013 12:22
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:59
Publisher:EMH Swiss Medical Publishers
ISSN:0036-7672
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/2006/29/smw-11322
PubMed ID:16937324
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-81155

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