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The Health and Well Being of Adolescents in the United States, 2009

      See Related Article p. 8
      In this issue of the Journal, Mulye and her colleagues from the University of California, San Francisco, provide us with an overview of the health status of adolescents and young adults (ages 10-24) in the United States [
      • Mulye T.P.
      • Park M.J.
      • Nelson C.D.
      • et al.
      Trends in adolescent and young adult health in the United States.
      ]. This review attempts to synthesize what we know about the health and well being of adolescents/young adults and the trends since 1990 by using the most recent available national data sets. In using multiple national data sets and reporting on the 10–24-year-old age group, the authors have highlighted the strengths and limitations of the available data. This review from the authors replaces three previous self-published documents from the National Adolescent Health Information Center entitled “America's Adolescents: Are They Healthy?” which focused exclusively on adolescents [
      • Ozer E.M.
      • Park M.J.
      • Paul T.
      • et al.
      America's Adolescents: Are They Healthy? University of California.
      ]. Given that there is no place where clinicians, investigators, and policy makers can get a summary of how adolescents/young adults are faring with respect to mortality, morbidity, health damaging behaviors, and health care utilization, we are hopeful that our readers will find this summary useful. The summary is modeled after the Annual Summary of Vital Statistics that is published in Pediatrics each year [

      Martin JA, Kung HC, Mathews TJ, et al. Annual Summary of Vital Statistics. 2006. Pediatrics 2008;121:788–801.

      ], however, the review in the Journal goes beyond birth and mortality data. We encourage the authors in their future review to put these trends in perspective by discussing former and remote determinants of the health of this population.
      With the publication of this review, we intend to initiate a biennial update on the health status of adolescents/young adults in the United States, published in the July issue. Given that the Journal of Adolescent Health strives to report on the health and well being of adolescents/young adults throughout the world, we are hopeful that our international colleagues will conduct similar analyses in their own countries, as Mulye and her colleagues have done for the United States. The Journal welcomes these analyses for consideration of publication. These comparisons will assist us in identifying policies, practices and programs to improve health during this critical developmental period of the life span.

      References

        • Mulye T.P.
        • Park M.J.
        • Nelson C.D.
        • et al.
        Trends in adolescent and young adult health in the United States.
        J Adolesc Health. 2009; 45: 8-24
        • Ozer E.M.
        • Park M.J.
        • Paul T.
        • et al.
        America's Adolescents: Are They Healthy? University of California.
        National Adolescent Health Information Center, San Francisco2003
      1. Martin JA, Kung HC, Mathews TJ, et al. Annual Summary of Vital Statistics. 2006. Pediatrics 2008;121:788–801.