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27-31 August 2019
Poznań, Poland
Europe/Warsaw timezone
programme last update: 23 August 2019
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Contribution Paper

Poznań, Poland - Morasko Kampus, room: 3.45

A lens on the health paradox of young females


  • Prof. Maria KACZMAREK

Primary authors

  • Prof. Maria KACZMAREK (Department of Human Biological Development, Institute of Anthropology, Faculty of Biology, Adam Mickiewicz University)


Young adulthood, defined as ages 18-25, is a critical period in the female life course. It is time of navigation the transition to adult roles. Young women make choices that may involve higher education, profession and occupation/employment (socioeconomic roles – transition from student to worker) as well as marriage and childbearing (family roles both biological and social). Physical and mental changes, though less dramatic than in adolescence, continue to occur and individuals begin the steady weight gain and some psychological changes that will characterize adulthood. The aim of this study was to show evidence for health paradox in women at their early reproductive age. The term paradox signifies a contradiction between the biological status of young adulthood and chronic conditions observed in this period of life. A literature search was performed of SCOPUS, PubMed, Medline and Google Scholars reviews for the years 2010-2018. Following conditions were studied: (i) metabolic syndrome (MetS) with elevated weight, blood pressure, and diabetes mellitus type 2; (ii) lupus; (iii) endometriosis; (iv) myasthemia gravis; (v) dysmenorrhea; (vi) polycystic ovary syndrome (POCS); (vii) hormonal imbalance; (viii) sexually transmitted diseases (STD); (viv) healthy risk behavior such as. unprotected sex, substance abuse; (x) conditions related to nutrition and micronutrients deficiencies; (xi) mental health. It was found that the rate of various conditions across the age transition varied considerably and was associated with educational experience and expectations. It seems to be a paradox when contrasting with maximum potential for childbearing in this period of life.