Research :: Health of Adolescents and Young Adults: Trends in Achieving the 21 Critical National Health Objectives by 2010

The 21 Critical National Health Objectives (CNHOs) for Adolescents and Young Adults derived from Healthy People 2010 addressed the most significant threats to the health of individuals aged 10–24 years. This study assessed trends in the 21 CNHOs between 1991 and 2009, and from baseline years for which 2010 targets were established to 2009, and the extent to which targets were achieved.

For CNHOs measured by census systems, the percentage of change in each health outcome was calculated between 1991 and 2009 and between baseline years and 2009. Any change 5% was considered as an improvement or deterioration. For CNHOs measured by national probability-based surveillance surveys, multivariate logistic regression was conducted using Stata Version 10.0 (StataCorp, College Station, TX) to calculate odds ratios for each outcome from 1991, and from baseline years to 2009, controlling for gender, race/ethnicity, and age or school grade-level. To calculate the percentage of targets being achieved, the difference between baseline data and 2009 data was divided by that between baseline data and target.

Adolescents and young adults achieved two targets (rode with a driver who had drunk alcohol, physical fighting), improved for 12 CNHOs,mademixed progress by sub-objective for two,showednoprogress in four, and regressed in achieving two (Chlamydia infections; overweight). Progress varied by demographic variables.

Although encouraging trends were seen in young people’s health, the United States achieved only two CNHOs. Attention is needed to improve the health and reduce disparities among young people.

Health of Adolescents and Young Adults: Trends in Achieving the 21 Critical National Health Objectives by 2010; Journal of Adolescent Health – August 2011 (Vol. 49, Issue 2, Pages 124-132, DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2011.04.026)


Adolescents, Health Behavior, Healthy People, Monitoring, Trends, Young Adults


August 1, 2011


Nan Jiang, Ph.D., Lloyd J. Kolbe, Ph.D., Dong-Chul Seo, Ph.D., Noy S. Kay, H.S.D., Claire D. Brindis, Dr. P.H.c


Racial/Ethnic Disparities and Culturally Competent Health Care Among Youth and Young Men

This 2008 article discusses gaps in research and offers recommendations for improving health care quality and strengthening the research base on gender and disparities during adolescence.

Adolescents | Demographics | Gender | Health Care | Males | Race/Ethnicity | Recommendations

What Gets Measured Gets Done: Assessing Data Availability for Adolescent Populations

This 2007 paper provides an overview of the availability of data for specific adolescent sub-populations, such as rural and homeless/runaway youth, by the 21 Critical Health Objectives of Healthy People 2010.

Adolescents | Demographics | Health Behavior | Healthy People | Measurement | Monitoring | Mortality | Special Populations

Medical Home for Adolescents: Low Attainment Rates for Those With Mental Health Problems and Other Vulnerable Groups

This 2012 study by researchers in the Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine examined the current rates of medical home attainment for adolescents.

Adolescents | Disparities | Health Care | Medical Home | Mental Health

A Health Profile of Adolescent and Young Adult Males

This brief highlights priority health issues for adolescent & young adult males and identifies key gender & racial/ethnic disparities.

Adolescents | Health Behavior | Health Care | Males | Mortality | Young Adults

Young Adult Preventive Health Guidelines: There But Can’t Be Found

This review of existing preventive health guidelines for adolescents and adults recommends the establishment of “Young Adult Preventive Care Guidelines” that reflect the current evidence-based recommendations that overlap with the young adult age group.

Clinical Preventive Services | Guidelines | Health Care | Health Insurance | Recommendations | Transitions | Young Adults