Depression the biggest cause of teenage illness

This biggest cause of illness in teenagers across the world has been named as depression, reports.

According to new figures released by the World Health Organisation (WHO), depression was found as the main precursor to illness among young people, beating the likes of road accidents, smoking, alcohol and drugs.

For its research, the WHO held direct consultations with 10 to 19-year olds across the world to assess their overall health and any causes of illness. It was soon discovered that depression was the single biggest cause of illness or injury among this age group, with traffic injuries coming in second.

As separate research discovered that many individuals who develop depression in their later lives find symptoms can start as early as 14, the WHO called for more to be done to help teenagers suffering with mental ill health.

The report went on to claim that, globally, not enough attention has been paid to the health of adolescents, notes. If teenagers with mental health problems get the care they need, however, this could prevent deaths and avoid suffering throughout life.

Perhaps most stark was the finding that, among one billion adolescents in 2013, there were 1.3 million deaths which could have been prevented.

One simple way of preventing such issues from taking hold, it added, was for teenagers to get more physical exercise. Current figures put the number of young people getting the right level of exercise at just 25 per cent, so upping this could be one simple way of bringing down illness and mortality rates.