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Physical health conditions

Although the years 10-24 tend to be a time of good physical health, many young people will experience a range of short term physical health problems.  A significant minority will have long-term chronic conditions or some kind of disability.

Young people aged 16-20 are the group most likely to be diagnosed with asthma


Epilepsy is another important long-term condition affecting teenagers. Epilepsy is a neurological condition resulting in a tendency to have recurrent seizures. One in 50 people will have epilepsy at some time in their lives, with around 500,000 (1 in 100) with the condition at any given time (Epilepsy Society, 2021). 

Chart 4.12 shows that the rate of emergency hospital admissions for epilepsy per 100,000 of the population aged 10-19 in England has remained fairly level since 2010/11.

Rates of emergency hospital admissions of 10-18 year olds for epilepsy are relatively stable

There is evidence that epilepsy levels are higher in urban areas, areas of social deprivation and areas without specialist services (Thomas et al, 2012). There is also evidence of co-morbidity between epilepsy and mental health problems (Aaberg et al, 2016).

All data correct as of 1st November 2021