U.S.: Prevalence of Health Conditions Among College Students, by diagnose
Health conditionShare of college student,
in %
Allergies - environmental30.3
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder13.5
Allergies - animals/pets13.3
Allergies - food allergy12.7
Migraine headaches11.2
Chronic pain7.1
Trauma- or stressor- related condition7.0
Obsessive-compulsive condition5.9
Eating disorder5.8
Other ongoing or chronic condition5.8
Gastroesophageal reflux disease or acid reflux5.2
Irritable bowel syndrome4.9
High cholesterol3.6
Polycystic ovarian syndrome3.5
Thyroid condition or disorder3.5
High blood pressure3.3
Diabetes or pre-diabetes/insulin resistance3.1
Autism spectrum3.0
Heart or vascular disorder2.5
Bipolar and related conditions2.4
Sleep apnea2.1
Urinary system disorder1.3
HPV or genital warts1.2
Traumatic brain injury1.1
Alcohol or other drug-related abuse or addiction1.1
Celiac disease1.0
Genital herpes0.8
Tourettes or other neurodevelopmental condition0.6
Schizophrenia and other psychotic conditions0.4
Hepatitis B or C0.3
Gambling disorder0.2
HIV or AIDS0.2
  • Region: United States
  • Time period: 2023
  • Published: 2024

Data Analysis and Insights

Updated: Mar 30, 2024 | Published by: Statistico

Anxiety tops the list of health conditions among U.S. college students

Anxiety is the most prevalent health condition among U.S. college students, with a share of 31.5%, signaling a significant mental health challenge within this demographic. It marginally surpasses allergies to environmental factors, which affect 30.3% of students, underscoring the critical importance of mental health support on campuses.

Three conditions exceed a 25% prevalence rate

Beyond anxiety, environmental allergies and acne show a high prevalence among college students, with rates of 30.3% and 27.3%, respectively. These conditions, along with anxiety, constitute the trio of health issues affecting more than a quarter of the student population, highlighting diverse health challenges that extend beyond mental health.

Mental health issues are significant

Mental health disorders, including depression and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) , show notable prevalence rates of 24.1% and 13.5%, respectively. These conditions, along with anxiety, point to a substantial mental health burden among college students, emphasizing the need for comprehensive mental health services.

Physical health conditions vary widely

Asthma and migraine headaches affect 15.5% and 11.2% of college students, respectively, indicating a range of physical health issues that can impact student well-being and academic performance. These conditions highlight the importance of accessible healthcare services on college campuses.

Lower prevalence of serious conditions

Serious health conditions such as HIV/AIDS and schizophrenia have a relatively low prevalence among college students, each affecting 0.2% and 0.4%, respectively. Despite their lower occurrence, these conditions require specialized support and resources for affected students.

Nutritional and metabolic disorders are less common

Conditions related to nutrition and metabolism, such as diabetes and high cholesterol, show lower prevalence rates of 3.1% and 3.6%, respectively. These rates suggest that while less common, nutritional and metabolic health issues still represent a concern for a segment of the college population.

Allergy variations highlight diverse environmental reactions

Allergies are differentiated by their triggers, with environmental allergies, animal/pet allergies, and food allergies affecting 30.3%, 13.3%, and 12.7% of students, respectively. This diversity underscores the need for personalized healthcare and accommodations in college settings.

Chronic pain and stress-related conditions impact student life

Chronic conditions such as chronic pain and trauma- or stressor-related conditions are reported by 7.1% and 7.0% of students, respectively. These conditions not only affect physical health but also have a profound impact on students' mental health and academic engagement.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most common health condition among U.S. college students?

Anxiety is the most common health condition among U.S. college students, affecting 31.5% of the population.

What other health conditions have a high prevalence among this group?

The other health conditions with high prevalence are environmental allergies and acne, affecting 30.3% and 27.3% of students, respectively.

How prevalent are mental health disorders among college students?

Depression and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are notably prevalent, affecting 24.1% and 13.5% of students, respectively.

Terms and Definitions

Prevalence refers to the total number of existing cases of a specific health condition in a particular population at a given time. Unlike incidence, which refers to the number of new cases, prevalence considers all current cases, both new and existing.

A diagnosis is the identification of the nature or cause of a certain health condition or disease. Health care professionals make diagnoses using a range of methods, such as physical examination, diagnostic tests, patient history, and symptom analysis.

A health condition is a state in a person that might lead to distress, dysfunctions, or diseases. This term can be broad and includes physical diseases, mental illnesses, disability, and long-term ailments.

Mental health refers to a person's psychological, emotional, and social well-being. It affects how people think, feel, and act, influencing their handling of stress, relationships, and decision-making abilities. Mental health disorders can be attributed to various factors, including genetics, biochemistry, trauma, and life experience.

Physical health is a state of well-being where all body systems are functioning optimally and free from disease. Maintaining physical health requires a balanced diet, regular exercise, adequate sleep, and good hygiene practices.

Incidence represents the number of new cases of a specific condition appearing in a population within a specific time period. While prevalence describes the overall frequency of a disease, incidence gives insight into the risks associated with developing the disease.

Stress is a feeling of physical or emotional tension brought on by any event or thought that makes an individual feel frustrated, angry, or nervous. While acute stress can help cope with emergencies, chronic or long-term stress can impact both physical and mental health.

A chronic disease is a long-term health condition that may not have a cure. Such diseases can be controlled but not always completely cured. Chronic diseases usually progress slowly and can impact a patient's quality of life. Examples of chronic diseases include heart disease, diabetes, and certain respiratory disorders.
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