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Physical Problems in Adolescents

By Sharon Levy, MD, MPH, Harvard Medical School;Children's Hospital, Boston

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Patient Education

Although adolescents are susceptible to the same kinds of illness that afflict younger children, generally they are a healthy group. Adolescents should continue to receive vaccinations according to the recommended schedule (see Recommended Immunization Schedule for Ages 7–18 yr).

Acne (see Acne Vulgaris) is extremely common and needs to be addressed because of its impact on self-esteem.

Trauma (see Approach to the Trauma Patient) is very common among adolescents, with sports and motor vehicle injuries most frequent. Motor vehicle crashes and other unintentional injuries, homicide, and suicide (see Suicidal Behavior in Children and Adolescents) are the 4 leading causes of mortality in the adolescent age group.

Disorders that are common among all adolescents include

Disorders that are common among adolescent girls include

Pregnancy also is not a rare occurrence and must be kept in mind when treating adolescent girls.

Although not common, neoplastic diseases such as leukemia, lymphoma, bone cancers, and brain tumors also occur.

* This is the Professional Version. *