Top 5 Takeaways

  1. High Prevalence of Chronic Conditions: In 2019, 53.8% of young adults (18-34 years) had at least one chronic condition, and 22.3% had multiple conditions, highlighting a significant public health concern.
  2. Common Conditions Identified: The most prevalent chronic conditions were obesity (25.5%), depression (21.3%), and high blood pressure (10.7%), pointing to critical areas for intervention.
  3. Disparities Among Subgroups: Significant differences in chronic condition prevalence were noted among subgroups, especially between those with and without disabilities, employed vs. unemployed, and students, emphasizing the need for tailored public health strategies.
  4. Associated Risk Behaviors: Young adults with chronic conditions were more likely to engage in binge drinking, smoking, and physical inactivity, suggesting targeted areas for behavioral interventions.
  5. Public Health Implications: The findings underscore the necessity for coordinated efforts to improve the availability and effectiveness of interventions, policies, and programs addressing chronic conditions in young adults.

Original Article Author and Citation

Corresponding Author

Kathleen B. Watson,

Suggested Citation

Watson KB, Carlson SA, Loustalot F, et al. Chronic Conditions Among Adults Aged 18─34 Years — United States, 2019. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2022;71:964–970. DOI:


This report provides an in-depth analysis of the prevalence of chronic conditions among young adults in the United States in 2019, revealing that over half of this age group reported having at least one chronic condition. It highlights the most common conditions and identifies disparities in prevalence by subgroup, emphasizing the impact of chronic conditions on the health and well-being of young adults.


The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) was utilized to gather data, with analysis focusing on adults aged 18–34 years. The study defined chronic conditions based on self-reports of diagnoses by health professionals, including a range of conditions from obesity to asthma. Data were analyzed to identify differences in prevalence by various demographic and health-related characteristics.


The report discusses the implications of high chronic condition prevalence among young adults, noting the association with risk behaviors like binge drinking, smoking, and physical inactivity. It calls for public and private sector efforts to raise awareness and improve interventions tailored to this age group to prevent and manage chronic conditions effectively.


Given the high prevalence of chronic conditions among young adults and their associated risk behaviors, there is a clear need for targeted public health strategies. The report emphasizes the importance of developing and implementing evidence-based interventions that address the specific needs and challenges of young adults to improve their long-term health outcomes.

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