*The following is excerpted from an online article from HealthDay.
Mental or physical health problems during the teen years may make it harder to get a good job or to complete higher education later on, a new research review suggests.
"Chronic health conditions and particularly mental health conditions contribute substantially to education and employment outcomes," said study co-author Leonardo Bevilacqua, a researcher at the University College London Institute of Child Health in England.
"This is extremely important for developing and implementing policies in and outside schools that promote health and support those with health conditions," he said.
Teens' health needs to be a core focus in school to improve their educational and employment success, Bevilacqua added.
Although the review found an association between mental or physical health problems in teens and greater difficulty pursuing a higher education or getting work, the study did not prove a definitive cause-and-effect relationship between those factors.
The findings were published online in the journal Pediatrics.
The researchers reviewed 27 studies that looked at teens with and without chronic mental or physical health conditions, and compared their education and employment situations as adults.
As a whole, the researchers found that teens with mental or physical health conditions did more poorly as adults in terms of education and employment.
Researchers looked at problems that included dropping out of high school, not getting additional education after high school, and having fewer years of education. They also examined time spent unemployed, income, welfare use and whether a person held an unskilled job.
The link to poorer outcomes was strongest for those with mental health conditions. But only nine studies included teens with physical health problems. Six looked at unspecified chronic health problems, and three of these focused on juvenile idiopathic arthritis.
A possible reason for the findings is that teens with health problems miss more school and don't participate in social or school activities as much, Bevilacqua said.
"This research suggests that people with health conditions may be more likely to be socially excluded, potentially due to stigmatization or a lack of social contact with peers, which has a negative impact on their educational development," he said.