ABSTRACT

Adolescence is increasingly recognized as a separate life stage where the health risks, in mortality and in morbidity, merit and indeed require distinct attention. An upturn in mortality among teen-aged males has been reported by the National Center for Health Statistics (1–3). A recent survey, which included both personal home interviews and medical examinations of a community cross section of urban black adolescents in the United States, documented the extent of morbidity among that population (4). Better than three-quarters of the young people 12–17 years of age in that study reported at least one health problem; the average number of self-reported health problems was three. Physicians reported a medical problem for two out of three young people they examined; one in three young people, by physician report, had two or more notable health problems.