Health for the world's adolescents: a second chance in the second decade

J Adolesc Health. 2015 Jan;56(1):3-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2014.10.260.


The World Health Organization has produced a multimedia, interactive online report entitled Health for the World's Adolescents: A Second Chance in the Second Decade. The report provides an overview of global and regional estimates of adolescent mortality and disability-adjusted life years, disaggregated by age, sex, and cause, and country-level data on health-related behaviors and conditions among adolescents. It outlines the reasons why adolescence is a unique period in the life course requiring special attention and synthesizes current thinking about the determinants that underlie the differences in health status between adolescents. For the first time, this new report pulls together recommendations and guidance from across the World Health Organization relating to interventions directed to a range of priority health problems, including use of alcohol and other psychoactive substances, AIDS, injuries, mental health, nutrition, sexual and reproductive health, tobacco use, and violence, focusing on four core functions of the health sector: supportive policies, service provision, strategic information, and working with other sectors. The report concludes with 10 key actions that would strengthen national responses to adolescent health, and outlines the approaches that are needed to overcome the obstacles to accelerating evidence-informed actions to improve the health of adolescents worldwide--with all the benefits that this will have for public health in the present and across the life course, for this generation and the next.

Keywords: Adolescent health; Determinants; Disability-adjusted life years; Health-related behaviors; Indicators; Intersectoral collaboration; Mortality; Policies; Program guidance; Universal health coverage.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior
  • Adolescent Health Services*
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Policy*
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Internationality*
  • Male
  • Public Health*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • World Health Organization