Maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health

The adolescent with a chronic condition

Michaud, Pierre-André; Suris, Joan-Carles; Viner, Russell

Publication details

Number of pages: 44
Publication date: 2007
Languages: English
ISBN: 9789241595704
WHO reference number: WHO discussion papers on adolescence



The incidence and prevalence of chronic conditions is rising in most developed and developing countries and will constitute the main cause of death by 2020. Among children, and especially among adolescents, increased life expectancy due to improvements in nutrition, hygiene and control of infectious diseases is producing an epidemiologic transition in which noncommunicable diseases including chronic diseases and disability are emerging as major health problems.

The management of any chronic condition during adolescence, a time of rapid growth and physiologic changes accompanied by important individualisation and socialization processes, constitutes a major challenge for the individual, his/her family and the health -care team. The purpose of this paper is to present data related to the epidemiology of chronic diseases during adolescence, to review their impact on the bio-psychosocial processes of adolescence and to provide evidence-based suggestions on how to manage young people with chronic conditions in a comprehensive and holistic way.