Millennials are 'seeing their health decline faster than the previous generation' in a trend which could have alarming consequences for the United States, experts fear.
A report by Moody's Analytics warns that millennials could see their mortality rates climb by 40 per cent compared to their predecessors in Generation X.
The growing health problems are attributed to a range of factors including high cholesterol and substance abuse.
Experts say that millennial health problems will prevent them from contributing to the US economy, causing higher unemployment and slower growth and sending healthcare costs spiraling.
That could spark a 'vicious cycle' where poorer health causes economic struggles, contributing to even worse health, it is feared.
The dire warnings are made in a report called The Economic Consequences of Millennial Health which was published earlier this month.
The report defines millennials as the generation born between 1981 and 1996, meaning that some millennials are already 38 years old.
'Millennials are seeing their health decline faster than the previous generation as they age,' the report's authors warn.
'This extends to both physical health conditions, such as hypertension and high cholesterol, and behavioral health conditions, such as major depression and hyperactivity.
'Without intervention, millennials could feasibly see mortality rates climb up by more than 40 per cent compared to Gen-Xers at the same age.'
Experts say that while previous rises in mortality were linked to specific events such as the Vietnam War and the outbreak of HIV/AIDS, the dangers to millennial health are more widespread.
Compared to Generation X members, millennials are more likely to die by accidents or suicides, the report says.
In addition, the decline in millennial health can partly be attributed to 'rapid upticks in conditions like depression, substance abuse and hyperactivity,' analysts said.
In particular, deaths from opioid abuse have risen by more than 1,000 per cent since 2010, it is believed.
'The logical first consequence of these overall health declines is an increase in the amount of treatment that will need to be accessed,' the experts warned.
'A rapid increase in the need for treatment for the most populous generation in the U.S. has the potential to tax our already burdened healthcare infrastructure.
'The U.S. already spends more than 18 per cent of its GDP on healthcare expenditures, the highest in the developed world.
'These additional cost pressures would be borne not only by consumers and businesses, but by states and the federal government as well, adding to already mounting mandatory spending burdens.'
On top of that, the problem will be exacerbated when unhealthy millennials make up a large share of the workforce and contribute less to the economy because of their health problems.
Millennials already make up the largest share of the U.S. labor market at 35 per cent and rising, it is believed.
'Poorer health among millennials will keep them from contributing as much to the economy as they otherwise would, manifesting itself through higher unemployment and slower income growth,' the analysts said.
'Under the most adverse set of projections, lower levels of health alone could cost millennials more than $4,500 per year in real per capita income compared to similarly aged Gen-Xers.
'Such impacts would be most likely concentrated in areas already struggling economically, potentially exacerbating instances of income inequality and contributing to a vicious cycle of even greater prevalence of behavioral and physical health conditions.'