A third of middle-aged UK adults have at least two chronic health issues ' study

Research has shown that more than one third of middle-aged British adults suffer from at least two chronic conditions. These include recurrent back issues, poor mental health and high blood pressure.A 1970 study of Generation X adults found that those who were born into poor families were 43% more likely than their peers from wealthy households to develop multiple long-term health problems. People who were overweight or obese as children and had suffered from mental illness as teens, as well as those who had a lower birthweight, were more likely to have poor health in their mid-life years.Dawid Gondek (UCL researcher) said that the paper provides disturbing new evidence regarding the health of the nation's midlife. The study shows that many people are suffering from long-term mental and physical health issues in their 40s. It also highlights stark health inequalities that appear to start in childhood.Gondek called on public health agencies to reach middle-aged people to offer advice about how to take care of their health, as improvements in health have been shown to be linked to increased life satisfaction and higher earnings in previous research. He said that British adults are experiencing a decline in their health at midlife, as compared to previous generations.This study uses data from approximately 8,000 British adults who participated in the 1970 British Cohort Study more than 50 years ago.In 2016-18, between 46 and 48 years old, they were asked to disclose if they had any chronic mental and physical health conditions. Nurses also measured blood pressure and took blood samples to test for diabetes.34 percent of adults surveyed reported multiple chronic health issues. 26% were involved in high-risk alcohol consumption, 21% had recurrent back problems, and 19% suffered from mental health issues. 16 percent of respondents had high blood pressure. 12 percent were suffering from asthma, bronchitis or arthritis. 5% suffered from diabetes in their mid-life.Adults of poorer backgrounds were almost three-and-half times more likely to suffer from arthritis and mental ill health, and three-and-a half times more likely to have poor mental health and high bloodpressure in their 40s.Multiple chronic health issues are more common in those who have had multiple health problems, such as lower birthweight, lower body mass index and cognitive abilities at age 10, and worse emotional and behavioral problems at 16 years of age.Professor George Ploubidis, UCLs Centre for Longitudinal Studies, said that if these links reflect causal effects then policy and practice targeting core areas in childhood or adolescence could improve future generations' health and reduce pressures on NHS.