Mortality Among High School Students in the US

"In 2016 in the United States, 74% of all deaths among persons aged 10–24 years resulted from four causes: motor vehicle crashes (22%), other unintentional injuries (20%), suicide (17%), and homicide (15%) (1). Among persons aged 15–19 years, 209,809 births (2); 488,700 cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis (3); and 1,652 diagnoses of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) (4) were reported. Among persons aged ≥25 years, 54% of all deaths in the United States resulted from cardiovascular disease (31%) and cancer (23%) (1). These leading causes of mortality, morbidity, and social problems (e.g., academic failure, poverty, and crime) among youth and adults in the United States are associated with six categories of priority health-related behaviors: 1) behaviors that contribute to unintentional injuries and violence; 2) tobacco use; 3) alcohol and other drug use; 4) sexual behaviors that related to unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV infection; 5) unhealthy dietary behaviors; and 6) physical inactivity. These behaviors, as well as obesity, overweight, and asthma, frequently are related, are established during childhood and adolescence, and extend into adulthood.

"Significant health disparities exist among demographic subgroups of youth defined by sex, race/ethnicity, and grade in school, and especially between sexual minority and nonsexual minority youth (5–7). More specifically, violence, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, STIs, and pregnancy occur more frequently among sexual minority youth than nonsexual minority youth. In addition, some sexual minority youth struggle with stigma, discrimination, family disapproval, and social rejection. However, although differences based on sex, race/ethnicity, and grade in school have been well documented, not enough is known about health-related behaviors that contribute to negative health outcomes among sexual minority youth (5,7)."


Laura Kann, PhD; Tim McManus, MS; William A. Harris, MM; et al. "Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance — United States, 2017," Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Surveillance Summaries (Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control, June 15, 2018), Vol. 67, No. 8.