Preprint Article Version 1 This version not peer reviewed

A Comprehensive Health Profile of Youths Living with a “Hikikomori” Lifestyle

Version 1 : Received: 28 December 2017 / Approved: 28 December 2017 / Online: 28 December 2017 (07:53:05 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Yuen, J.W.M.; Yan, Y.K.Y.; Wong, V.C.W.; Tam, W.W.S.; So, K.-W.; Chien, W.-T. A Physical Health Profile of Youths Living with a “Hikikomori” Lifestyle. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 315. Yuen, J.W.M.; Yan, Y.K.Y.; Wong, V.C.W.; Tam, W.W.S.; So, K.-W.; Chien, W.-T. A Physical Health Profile of Youths Living with a “Hikikomori” Lifestyle. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 315.

Journal reference: Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 315
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph15020315

Abstract

To understand the health impacts of “hikikomori” lifestyle and to establish its first comprehensive health profile, a cross-sectional study was designed to measure how well the cases of hikikomori youths of Hong Kong were living, in terms of social, mental and physical aspects. This study involved 104 eligible participants at age 19.02 year-old who had completed the set of questionnaires and a series of anthropometric and physical health measurements. Despite SF36 score of 84.0 indicated good physical functioning in general, participants were lived sedentarily with high incidence of hypertension at 15.4% and prehypertension at 31.7%. Occurrence of hypertension in cases living as hikikomori >6 months was 3-times higher than those newly onset cases. The blood pressure levels were correlated with age and all obesity index parameters measured including waist circumference and body mass index. Half of the hypertensive cases involved the elevation of systolic blood pressure, which suggested higher odds of cardiovascular complications. Participants were mentally stable living with moderate levels of perceived stress and state anxiety, but borderline clinical depression. In conclusion, the hikikomori lifestyle could be a risk behavior that may harm the younger generation physically by promoting obesity and hypertension and probably other chronic illnesses.

Subject Areas

hikikomori; hidden youth; social withdrawal; health; hypertension; obesity; adolescent; physical health

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