People who are only in their 20s and 30s are being treated for health conditions usually associated with the elderly, including varicose veins and joint problems.
The worrying trend is being blamed on bad posture and couch-potato lifestyles as younger people sit hunched over screens for many hours of the day. Research from the health provider Bupa has found that increasing numbers of younger people are suffering from conditions including back pain and haemorrhoids.
Bupa looked at data from more than 60,000 medical procedures last year. It discovered that conditions which were usually only associated with older people were being suffered increasingly by younger people between the age of 25 and 45, who were seeking help for a range of ailments.
The hospital provider said that it thought the trend could be down to spending lots of time sitting at desks, watching box sets at home and using smartphones. Two of the most common procedures for the 25 to 45 age group were the removal of unsightly varicose veins and painful haemorrhoids.
Dr Steve Iley, who is Bupa’s medial director, explained: “Haemorrhoid removal and treatment for varicose veins are procedures that people in this age group should not be encountering.
“However, when you consider the amount of time young people now spend sat using their mobiles and tablets, streaming box sets or playing with the latest games console, you can see why these conditions are rising in this age group.”
In the 36 to 45 age group, there were large numbers of arthroscopic knee operations, along with injections to treat spinal pain.
Bupa also said that large numbers of people in their 20s, 30s and 40s were suffering from stress-related conditions as a result of struggling to switch off following work. As smartphones and flexible working blur the lines between work and home life, younger people are finding it hard to wind down.