The CDC released a report today on youth risk behavior. Excerpts:
Problem: Priority health-risk behaviors, which contribute to the leading causes of morbidity and
mortality among youth and adults, often are established during childhood and adolescence, extend into adulthood,
are interrelated, and are preventable.
Reporting Period Covered: October 2004–January 2006.
Description of the System: The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) monitors six categories
of priority health-risk behaviors among youth and young adults, including behaviors that contribute
to unintentional injuries and violence; tobacco use; alcohol and other drug use; sexual behaviors that
contribute to unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including human immunodeficiency
virus (HIV) infections; unhealthy dietary behaviors; and physical inactivity. In addition, the YRBSS
monitors general health status and the prevalence of overweight and asthma. YRBSS includes a national
school-based survey conducted by CDC and state and local school-based surveys conducted by state and local
education and health agencies. This report summarizes results from the national survey, 40 state surveys, and 21
local surveys conducted among students in grades 9–12 during October 2004–January 2006.
Results: In the United States, 71% of all deaths among persons aged 10–24 years result from four
causes: motor-vehicle crashes, other unintentional injuries, homicide, and suicide. Results from the 2005
national Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) indicated that, during the 30 days preceding the survey, many
high school students engaged in behaviors that increased their likelihood of death from these four causes: 9.9%
had driven a car or other vehicle when they had been drinking alcohol; 18.5% had carried a weapon; 43.3%
had drunk alcohol; and 20.2% had used marijuana.