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Teenagers and their health.
  1. A Macfarlane,
  2. A McPherson,
  3. K McPherson,
  4. L Ahmed
  1. Department of Community Medicine, Community Health Offices, Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford.


    Six hundred and forty three children aged 14 to 16, attending three upper schools in Oxfordshire, filled in a health questionnaire. Although over 90% rated their health as fair or good, three quarters had taken medicine in the previous four weeks, three quarters had complained of headaches, and three quarters had had dental fillings. In addition, a third drank alcohol at least once a week, a third felt depressed at least once a week, and a third had had time off school for illness in the previous four weeks. There were strong associations between smoking tobacco and other forms of drug abuse. On the positive side, most children felt responsible for their own health with three quarters agreeing that good health is mainly due to sensible living. Over 85% turned first to their parents for medical advice.

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