The most common health issues reported by college students in the U.S. include sinus infection, strep throat, migraine headaches, and urinary tract infections. However, around 8.8 percent of students reported having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and 5.9 percent reported having a chronic illness, such as cancer, diabetes, or an auto-immune disorder. Eating disorders and weight gain are relatively common among college students due to changes in eating habits, lifestyle, and stress. As of 2017, it was estimated that around 1.2 percent of college students had been diagnosed with bulimia, and 1.5 percent had been diagnosed with anorexia.
The stress and lifestyle changes that come with university life don’t only affect physical health but can impact students’ mental health as well. Mental health clinicians at colleges and universities have stated that anxiety, depression, relationship problems, and stress were the leading issues among their college student patients. Around 41.5 percent of college students had seen a counselor, therapist or psychologist for mental health services as of 2017, and around 24 percent of students who utilized mental health treatment took prescription medication for their mental health problems.
Drinking and drug use in university and college is widespread and infamous. Those aged 18 to 22 who are enrolled full time in college are more likely to binge drink than those of the same age who are not enrolled full time in college, although rates of binge drinking among both groups have decreased in recent years. In 2017, around 6.2 percent of college students stated they had used marijuana one or two days in the last 30 days, while 0.8 percent stated they had used cocaine one or two days in the last 30 days. Nevertheless, only 1.2 percent of college students have been diagnosed with substance abuse or addiction. Other health risk factors involving safe sex, smoking cigarettes, and a lack of sleep are also common in colleges and universities and require appropriate education and health care services.