Although most adolescents are healthy, adolescence is the age group in which mortality rates have increased most dramatically in recent decades.1,2 Many engage in risky behaviors that can affect their health. Unintentional injury, homicide, and suicide are the leading causes of death for teens, and as many as one in four adolescents are at risk for substance abuse, sexually transmitted diseases, early unintended pregnancy, and school failure.3,4 These preventable health problems make the availability of certain health services—including reproductive health services, diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted disease and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and mental health and substance abuse services—critically important for this age group. When these services are not accessible to youth, the result is missed opportunities for prevention.
See also p 1913.
Although American adolescents face major threats to their health, formidable barriers exist in seeking care. Adolescents and young adults have the lowest rate of
Cheng TL, Klein JD. The Adolescent ViewpointImplications for Access and Prevention. JAMA. 1995;273(24):1957-1958. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520480077044