Why Adolescent Health Matters

Susan Sawyer & George Patton

“Fifty years ago, the very notion of adolescence, teenagers and youth was only starting to be recognised as a ‘life stage’, with little appreciation of the significance of health issues affecting the young at this time. Even 30 years ago, if you had asked people to describe which life stage they thought was the healthiest, many would unthinkingly have said ‘adolescence’. At that time, in both high-income as well as low- and middle-income countries, the ravages of infectious diseases and congenital conditions were still disproportionately affecting the very young, such that under-5 mortality dwarfed mortality in all other age groups across the developmental age span …”