technology Mikhail Tereshchenko/Getty Images

Meer onderzoek nodig naar de gezondheid van jong volwassenen

SEATTLE – Data kunnen levens redden. Zonder data zouden we niet weten dat roken hart- en vaatziekten veroorzaakt, dat het dragen van een helm het sterftecijfer bij motorongelukken terugdringt, en dat beter onderwijs voor vrouwen helpt bij het overleven van hun kinderen – en nog veel meer. Gezien het belang van betrouwbare data, moet het verzamelen ervan een hoge prioriteit genieten.

Eén terrein waarop het vergaren van data in het bijzonder te wensen overlaat, is dat van de gezondheid van jong volwassenen. Mensen in de leeftijdscategorie van tien tot 24 krijgen veel minder aandacht dan die in andere leeftijdsgroepen. En in bredere zin, zoals de nieuwe Lancet Commission on Adolescent Health and Wellbeing benadrukt, heeft het mondiale sociale en gezondheidsbeleid de neiging de gezondheid van jong volwassenen grotendeels te negeren.

Op veel manieren hangt onze toekomst af van de gezondheid van onze jong volwassenen. In lage en middeninkomenslanden zijn er meer jong volwassenen dan ooit tevoren. En hun gezondheid vandaag de dag zal hun toekomstige welzijn beïnvloeden, hun vermogen vormgeven om in hun levensonderhoud te voorzien, gezonde kinderen voort te brengen en op te voeden, voor hun vergrijzende ouders te zorgen, en hun samenlevingen op het pad naar vrede en welvaart te zetten.

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