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Older U.S. adults today are in poorer health than earlier-born generations. Later-born generations of older U.S. adults are more likely to suffer from "multimorbidity" (two or more chronic health conditions) than generations born in the first half of the 20th century, according to a study published online June 1 in the Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences. The researchers used data on American adults ages 51 and older from the National Institute on Aging-sponsored Health and Retirement Study. They evaluated heart disease, hypertension, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, lung disease, cancer (other than skin cancer), high depressive symptoms, and cognitive impairment to determine the burden of multimorbidity on seven cohorts of older adults. Results showed that older people who were born more recently had a higher likelihood of reporting more chronic diseases and having those problems start earlier in life. For example, when comparing baby boomers (born during the 1950s and 1960s) to those born around the Great Depression (1920s and 1930s), baby boomers had a greater number of health conditions at ages 51 and older. The researchers also found that factors such as race and ethnicity, childhood socioeconomic circumstances, and childhood health affected the risk of multimorbidity for all generations. This evidence of worse health among today's aging Americans suggests they "will likely increase the burden of care on communities, clinicians, and health systems," according to the authors, who recommend policy initiatives to address these emerging needs.