Young people who live in poverty are at four times the risk of dying by the age of 20 than those from more affluent families, according to a new report. Children and young people have now overtaken pensioners as the largest age group in poverty and their health is suffering as a result, warns the Child Poverty Action Group.
The data, prepared by Bristol University, shows that main poverty-related health problems are accidents, respiratory problems, depression, schizophrenia, dietary deficiencies, substance abuse and sexually transmitted diseases.
Suicide rates in young men have doubled since 1975 and are almost three times higher for young poor people than for those from better-off backgrounds.
Poor housing conditions, stress and isolation caused by a lack of access to opportunities such as training and employment are aspects of poverty which may increase the risk of health problems.
Not to be Ignored: Young People, Poverty and Health, pounds 8.95, CPAG Ltd, 1-5 Bath Street, London EC1V 9PY Glenda Cooper