Health of the world's adolescents

A synthesis of internationally comparable data

George C. Patton, Carolyn Coffey, Claudia Cappa, Dorothy Currie, Leanne Riley, Fiona Gore, Louisa Degenhardt, Dominic Richardson, Nan Astone, Adesola O. Sangowawa, Ali Mokdad, Jane Ferguson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Adolescence and young adulthood offer opportunities for health gains both through prevention and early clinical intervention. Yet development of health information systems to support this work has been weak and so far lagged behind those for early childhood and adulthood. With falls in the number of deaths in earlier childhood in many countries and a shifting emphasis to non-communicable disease risks, injuries, and mental health, there are good reasons to assess the present sources of health information for young people. We derive indicators from the conceptual framework for the Series on adolescent health and assess the available data to describe them. We selected indicators for their public health importance and their coverage of major health outcomes in young people, health risk behaviours and states, risk and protective factors, social role transitions relevant to health, and health service inputs. We then specify definitions that maximise international comparability. Even with this optimisation of data usage, only seven of the 25 indicators, covered at least 50% of the world's adolescents. The worst adolescent health profiles are in sub-Saharan Africa, with persisting high mortality from maternal and infectious causes. Risks for non-communicable diseases are spreading rapidly, with the highest rates of tobacco use and overweight, and lowest rates of physical activity, predominantly in adolescents living in low-income and middle-income countries. Even for present global health agendas, such as HIV infection and maternal mortality, data sources are incomplete for adolescents. We propose a series of steps that include better coordination and use of data collected across countries, greater harmonisation of school-based surveys, further development of strategies for socially marginalised youth, targeted research into the validity and use of these health indicators, advocating for adolescent-health information within new global health initiatives, and a recommendation that every country produce a regular report on the health of its adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1665-1675
Number of pages11
JournalThe Lancet
Volume379
Issue number9826
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012

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Health
Maternal Mortality
Health Information Systems
Africa South of the Sahara
Information Storage and Retrieval
Tobacco Use
Risk-Taking
Health Services
HIV Infections
Global Health
Adolescent Health
Mental Health
Public Health
Exercise
Wounds and Injuries
Research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Patton, G. C., Coffey, C., Cappa, C., Currie, D., Riley, L., Gore, F., ... Ferguson, J. (2012). Health of the world's adolescents: A synthesis of internationally comparable data. The Lancet, 379(9826), 1665-1675. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0140-6736(12)60203-7

Health of the world's adolescents : A synthesis of internationally comparable data. / Patton, George C.; Coffey, Carolyn; Cappa, Claudia; Currie, Dorothy; Riley, Leanne; Gore, Fiona; Degenhardt, Louisa; Richardson, Dominic; Astone, Nan; Sangowawa, Adesola O.; Mokdad, Ali; Ferguson, Jane.

In: The Lancet, Vol. 379, No. 9826, 2012, p. 1665-1675.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Patton, GC, Coffey, C, Cappa, C, Currie, D, Riley, L, Gore, F, Degenhardt, L, Richardson, D, Astone, N, Sangowawa, AO, Mokdad, A & Ferguson, J 2012, 'Health of the world's adolescents: A synthesis of internationally comparable data', The Lancet, vol. 379, no. 9826, pp. 1665-1675. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0140-6736(12)60203-7
Patton GC, Coffey C, Cappa C, Currie D, Riley L, Gore F et al. Health of the world's adolescents: A synthesis of internationally comparable data. The Lancet. 2012;379(9826):1665-1675. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0140-6736(12)60203-7
Patton, George C. ; Coffey, Carolyn ; Cappa, Claudia ; Currie, Dorothy ; Riley, Leanne ; Gore, Fiona ; Degenhardt, Louisa ; Richardson, Dominic ; Astone, Nan ; Sangowawa, Adesola O. ; Mokdad, Ali ; Ferguson, Jane. / Health of the world's adolescents : A synthesis of internationally comparable data. In: The Lancet. 2012 ; Vol. 379, No. 9826. pp. 1665-1675.
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