A lack of support services are available for young women in Canberra with chronic diseases, a new report has found.
The report from the Women's Centre for Health Matters said while support services may be available for older women in the community, they often failed to adapt for younger patients.
The report surveyed more than 160 Canberra women aged between 18 and 50 with a chronic disease. About 61 per cent of those surveyed had more than one chronic disease.
Centre chief executive Marcia Williams said there had been a growing number of young women in the Canberra community with chronic health issues.
"There's an increasing area of chronic diseases that impact women, mainly in their 20s," she said.
"Increasingly, we're getting younger women telling us they weren't able to find appropriate services or be believed that they were in pain."
Among the findings in the report, 83 per cent of respondents said they had experienced barriers in trying to access services in Canberra.
Among the main barriers to receiving support was dissatisfaction with treatment, limited services and age-appropriateness.
"These [barriers] are different to the barriers experienced by older people with chronic disease, yet much of the health system response to chronic disease is focused on older people," the report said.
"Much of the response is also focused on chronic diseases caused by lifestyle behaviours, whereas the diseases which these younger women described were related to genetic, hormonal or infectious factors."
Ms Williams said for many women with auto-immune or musculoskeletal diseases, a key challenge was being believed.
"There's many in the medical profession that are told that young people don't get chronic diseases. The system that is meant to be supporting them are the ones that are disbelieving," she said.
"Personally, I was surprised in the report as to how many young women had experienced arthritis. It's a disease that you're meant to believe you get in your 60s."
The report also highlighted that a lack of services could affect the Canberra economy, with a "risk to the continued employment of younger women".
Almost 80 per cent of those who took part in the report said their role at work was affected.
"Many who we surveyed reported leaving work or having higher absenteeism from work due to having a chronic disease," Ms Williams said.
"Many don't tell their employer they have one for the fear of being sacked."
An ACT Health spokesman said the government welcomed the report's findings and would consider its recommendations.
"ACT Health is committed to meeting the needs of patients with chronic conditions. The territory-wide health services framework will take a systems approach to improving health care for Canberrans, including for people with chronic conditions," the spokesman said.
"There are a wide range of health conditions listed as a chronic condition. There is no silver bullet solution that will suit all patient's needs. Instead, people of all ages with chronic conditions are able to access support through both public and non-government services.
"ACT Health funds several organisations who provide support services for women suffering chronic illness. There are also many condition-specific support services that offer comprehensive support services to young women."