UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Baby boomers are more likely to live with numerous chronic health conditions than earlier generations, according to new research from Penn State and Texas State University.
Study authors warn that the growing rate of multiple chronic health conditions (multimorbidity) among older Americans represents a real health threat to the nation. If it continues, this trend will almost certainly place increased strain on the well-being of older adults, medical infrastructures, and federal insurance systems. On a related note, the amount of Americans over 65 is projected to increase by an astounding 50 percent by 2050.
Researchers note that this isn’t the first study to indicate greater health deterioration among today’s older adults. Moving forward, they would like to see their findings help inform new policies addressing this nationwide issue.
“Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, we were beginning to see declines in life expectancy among middle-aged Americans, a reversal of more than a century long trend,” says Steven Haas, associate professor of sociology and demography at Penn State, in a statement. “Furthermore, the past 30 years has seen population health in the U.S. fall behind that in other high-income countries, and our findings suggest that the U.S. is likely to continue to fall further behind our peers.”
Study authors analyzed data on adults aged 51 years and older originally collected by the Health and Retirement Study, which is a a nationally representative survey of aging Americans. Multimorbidity was measured by looking out for nine chronic conditions: heart disease, hypertension, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, lung disease, cancer (excluding skin cancer), high depressive symptoms, and cognitive impairment. Variations in the specific conditions driving generational differences in multimorbidity were also investigated.
Ultimately, researchers concluded that more recently born generations of older adults are more likely to live with more chronic conditions, and develop those issues earlier in life.
“For example, when comparing those born between 1948-65 – referred to as Baby Boomers — to those born during the later years of the Great Depression (between 1931 and 1941) at similar ages,” Prof. Haas adds, “Baby Boomers exhibited a greater number of chronic health conditions. Baby Boomers also reported two or more chronic health conditions at younger ages.”
Notably, sociodemographic factors also appeared to affect the risk of multimorbidity among all generations. Examples include race and ethnicity, whether the person was born in the U.S., childhood socioeconomic situations, and childhood health.
The most common conditions seen in adults with multimorbidity (across all generations) were arthritis and hypertension. Additionally, some collected evidence suggests both high depressive symptoms and diabetes contributed to the observed generational multimorbidity risk differences.
Study authors say there are multiple potential explanations for these findings.
“Later-born generations have had access to more advanced modern medicine for a greater period of their lives, therefore we may expect them to enjoy better health than those born to prior generations,” concludes Nicholas Bishop, assistant professor at Texas State University. “Though this is partially true, advanced medical treatments may enable individuals to live with multiple chronic conditions that once would have proven fatal, potentially increasing the likelihood that any one person experiences multimorbidity.”
Prof. Bishops adds that today’s older adults have had “greater exposure” to health risk factors such as obesity. Also, health issues are more likely to be diagnosed in older adults nowadays thanks to improvements in medical technology.
The study is published in The Journals of Gerontology.
No surprise. Boomers have been massive failures at every part of their lives. The least innovative in their youth, the least pragmatic in business, and divisive and ineffective in leadership as they gained seniority. It is only fitting they even screw up getting old.
Dude, your time will come. We are doing our best.
I wouldn’t try to rationalize with someone who has zero credibility, and only a narrow focus using his pyschological deficit as a platform..
I hate to break it to you, but statistics back up OP’s statement. As a generation overall, the Baby Boomers have been a complete failure on a macro level.
You did your best to make two-bedroom ranches cost a quarter of a million dollars if they’re anywhere near where anyone works, and pave over the wilderness with ugly mcmansions that are turning into wasteland so that you could have a cozy retirement belching an apocalypse out of your exhaust pipes. We’re all very impressed, now hurry up and croak, parasite.
Steve-o still living in mama Boomer’s basement? Panic at the crypto! Imagine living in a country ruled by a crypto bro.
Stevie, you forgot the one about, “The pollen is way worse this year thanks to us planting too many boy trees.” The aristocrats?
Your replying to a boomer styled insult with a boomer styled insult. Kind of amplifies the original post. It’s funny you say to move out on your own, when it isn’t possible with a young single income anymore. You might be able to rent a room in a shithole, but that and the increase in relationship between parents and children make that any easy choice for a long term home dweller.
What a spectacular, sweeping and asinine generalization. I guess you prefer the lazy, self-entitled and failed generations that came afterwards.
I’ve never met anyone more self entitled than a typical online boomer. Handed a golden spoon and then chastising their children for asking why the spoon they were handed is lead.
You jackass. Boomers have witnessed increases in cancers, social concerns, pollution, depression WHILE living through Viet Nam, riots, 9-11, Afghanistan, Covid, Aids, mass shootings, psychotic Presidents, global economy, agent orange, ad nauseum
Yes..the “net.” and todays medical advances…makes it easy to see things we all were ignorant to, before..
That’s what I thought, not really an increase in conditions an increase in diagnosing ones that were always there using better diagnostic tools.
Yeah, and all they did was stand up and yell, “mine, mine, mine, mine!!!” If you can’t grasp that the Boomer generation has been a failure both on a national and global level, then you are part of the problem.
Idiot alert…some punk with a dull ax to grind.
If Boomers had not developed the tech, STEVE would be using a landline, no internet, 7 tv channels and not have the other luxuries now enjoyed. Steve’s generation are the clingers. Clinging to Mommies skirt, no Daddy in the home, wondering if they are male or female.
What a moron. You have no basis, no evidence, but yet you plaster words without cause, only bias thinking. It would be no wonder if you were to lead a life of bad atittude with others, simply because you have unresolved issues with ‘yourself’..Good luck, you’ll need it…
Health problems come with age massive when your balls drop you’ll realize that.
No innovation, only personal computers and thus smartphones, tablets, and pretty much every other piece of technology you use. Steve Jobs was a boomer as is Bill Gates. I wouldn’t call them massive failures.
Also, Advanced medicine, which is why sick people live longer. Also, there are more boomers than depression-era people.
Beautifully said plus the lyrics and music will live on forever Like A Rolling Stone!!
Actually, Steve, when it comes to business, finance and innovation — most notably technological innovation, from personal computers to the Internet — the Baby Boomer generation have, beyond doubt, been the greatest generation. Consequently, the Baby Boomers have produced scores of billionaires and an ever greater number of multimillionaires. Indeed, they’ve added an enormous amount to our nation’s wealth.
Steve, in all do respect, have you been hiding under a rock these past forty years? You need to leave that basement and go out more.
Hey, I resemble that remark!
As someone pointed out, you sound just like a mama’s basement dweller. Maybe try making your own way in the big, scary world instead of whining about those who came before you—and succeeded??
Steve, don’t forget to squeeze your zits after your mom brings you your hot pockets.
Now, go be offended by something, loser.
Tell that to my Biochemist Phd husband. Who was raised on a poor farm in West By God Virginia. Much better qualified and successful then your dumb ass.
Ha, exactly the kind of well-thought, articulate responses in would expect from generation fail.
In all fairness, it could have easily been all the lead, asbestos, nuclear testing, and processed foods that caused it rather than personal failings.
We will just start with innovation. There is more research if you can find it, but boomers had the least patent activity since the civil war. https://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/ac/ido/oeip/taf/h_counts.htm
Anecdotally, you could argue cars, space travel, and many things got worse during peak boomer innovation in the 70s and 80s. Every other generation had mind boggling improvements. Even computers weren’t game changers until gen-x came along and made the internet graphical.
easy to say my young friend,,,do the walk ..then lets talk..have the kids..weather the storms ..like we did..your just getting started..with the narcissism factor..you guys battle..the image all consuming trend..the stresses of tech that were never there for us..you will be fortunate to be where we are..here is hoping you guys find that fountain of youth..really..I mean it…oh..it may mean you have to give up your tech toys..phones..instant gratification…ect….!!prepared for that??thought not..stupid stress you know.its a killer…good luck
Without the inventions of creative Boomers, like the computer or phone you are using to post your foolishness on the Internet created by Boomers, you’d be just ranting on a street corner somewhere.
We had Joni Mitchell. You got Taylor Swift. We had Miles Davis. You got Kanye West.
You’ll get older too. So don’t be so smug.
I was so bad at all the things you said , I was able to retire at 49 with 6 digit pension, 7 digit 401k and a nice small rental property portfolio. Just got back from the doc today and he declared me in good health. Don’t be jealous, maybe you can do the same.
Jerk. What is your generational identification? Please enlighten us about the accomplishments your generation has achieved. Jerk
Hey Steve I think you hit a nerve man!
Boomers created the computers and the Internet that you are perpetuating this drivel on.
Gen X greatly enhanced and expanded them.
Guy makes a single comment about boomers that I’ve seen made by countless boomers make about younger generations and they lose it. One failure was the economy, boomers pretty much inherited greatest economy in terms of working class affluence in the history of the world and promptly handed it to the richest of the rich. Boomers could have raised a family and bought decent house with a single income of selling shoes and nowadays even having a dual income with the same type of job and hoping for the same results is a pipe dream at best.
Daddy didn’t like little Stevie waw waw!!!
no surprise to me. Boomers had more visits to the doctor than their parents. Remember, those born before the Boomers believed that the doctor and hospitals were where you wen to die. So they didn’t complain and weren’t diagnosed.
Duh! Mark..the docs you guys have demonized,,as your new fad…well..they are the reason we live 20 years longer then our folks did..!…you go with that….” healthcare bad”…. outlook…..see where it gets you later in life.. dude..When you get cancer or other..avoid the doc…see how that works out …I bet you will come running..fix me please..fix me! you have got to be kidding!…were doomed…
bb, read the comment you are replying to before responding. Mark didn’t say anything negative about doctors, or boomers for that matter. He just pointed out that boomers are more likely to receive medical diagnoses/care than previous generations, which could help explain the difference in conditions the article is about. Everybody is looking for an excuse to get shirty.
Surprise? Inject them with crap from day one, dozens and dozens of times, eFFing their immune systems and one wonders why they are sicker, more allergic, and dying quicker? Japan quit jabbing under two year olds to prevent SIDS, but US drug cartels give STD shot on day one. Injections spike along with autism, except for kids who forego the voodoo jab crap.
what a narrow focus using nonsensical logic, and flawed thinking. Something like disordered thinking comes to mind. Good luck with your anti-vaccine nonsense that comes from conspirators and, they’re a isolated group of drama creators having no validity since they can’t sort through the evidence. Too mentally lazy, and they love to create the drama by trying to raise their own low self-esteem…
Thank you…plb4333…some one who has a brain.rare these days..
“Injections spike along with autism, except for kids who forego the voodoo jab crap.”
Sir, you need to step away from the keyboard, your brains are showing.
The Baby Boomers are from 1946-1964 not ‘46-‘65. This makes me question every “fact” in the article.
Probably due to the strain of raising kids who never leave home.
Agree. Not to mention also caring for their parents. No mention about how stress affects blood pressure. Very brief mention of the real reason, namely, that doctors keep sick people alive longer.
All these horrible new foods and chemicals but somehow boomers will live longer than their parents did. Please get boomers right it’s 1946 through 1964.
The boomers have had processed garbage shoveled into their mouths for the longest of any other generation by corporations that are driven by profit and greed. It’s no wonder their health is trash.
I believe this to be a logical and ‘factually correct’ opinion/observation (said a 65 year old in 2022).
As a recently retired boomer with a pension, zero loans, and payed for house I have very little stress. Eating healthier, exercising more, and sleeping longer so I can’t really agree with this article.
Boomers were the first generation to be exposed to a lot of nuclear dust that spread across the country from nuclear testing in the 50s and early 60s. Plus, we were the first generation to eat highly processed foods filled with lots of chemicals that were later found to be dangerous. Finally, we inhaled a lot of air filled with exhaust emissions from cars using leaded gas! AND many of us went to schools that were filled with asbestos.
I don’t believe a word of this. The only drop in life expectancy has come from Covid and drug overdoses (over 100,000 drug overdose deaths, more than accidents and suicide combined). People live longer than ever. If you live longer you will have more medical issues as time goes by. The main factor that might cause increased morbidity is overweight and diabetes. This is just another example of “chicken little, the sky is falling” nonsense. And please spare me your brilliance about boomers, your ignorance is appalling Steve.
YES 200 die everyday from drugs- the majority NOT Boomers! 120 die everyday on the highway 123+ die everyday from guns- suicide+homicide 1650 die from cancer every day FOOD for thought– more people are killed with baseball bats than guns! lastly how about record amount of suicide by 14-24 olds because of social media- they will have to wait to get old-same with fentanyl- majority under 45 and most 20-30’s JUST SAYING
Blaming it partly on obesity is likely true, but no study is complete without including alcohol use. There’s no mention of it. Medical profession today shrugs its shoulders at alcohol use much like they did with smoking.
I meant boomers taking care of their older parents. We are all living longer, including sick people.
the world can attribute it all to the mass acceptance of smoking heavily in the 1950’s and 60’s (thank you big tobacco) combined with EARL BUTZ and his insane feed the nation policy which produced the largest major shift in dietary consumption with the influx of corn & corn products into the nation’s food supply. This policy change resulted in corn & related products being used in nearly every bit of food we consume today…this use of corn products has created today’s obesity epidemic and the epidemic continues to worsen every day… Earl Butz and his policies have poisoned the entire nation and the baby boomers are the first group to see the results of this corn based food policy.
For me corn is not the problem. Wheat is the problem, or more specific, Gluten is the problem, or, even more specific… Gluten combined with salt is a real problem. Gluten sticks to my intestines slowing digestion and absorbtion of nutrients. Salt sticks to the Gluten and keeps building up over time and becomes excessive in my body causing high blood pressure and other issues including obesity. I figured this out after doing a series of colon cleanses over some years. For a long time I was cleaning out the gluten but not eliminating it from my diet, which only caused the problem to continue. Through all that I lost 60 pounds and my blood preasure is much easier to control. I’m a boomer, and of course I play guitar, and carrying that 60 pounds around was like having a Fender DeVille strapped to your stomach for 20 years LOL
The last particle of clean air disappeared during our infancy. Men stood on parade floats being sprayed with DDT to show how harmless it was for humans. Dry cleaners dumped their oceans of toxic chemicals into the water table, along with dentists’ mercury, every battery ever manufactured in over half a century, and every factory’s effluent, some in such quantities that rivers burned. Carcinogens were sprinkled on our nutritionally empty breakfast cereals, and we played outdoors all year, even walking a mile to the skating rink in minus 30 weather with the most inadequate woolen coats. And this was just during our childhoods, which somehow we survived!
No shock here. They destroyed the economy, the housing market, the environment. Why wouldn’t they destroy their health while they are at it. And before you boomers come saying “you entitled millennials don’t do anything” blah blah blah, don’t forget who raised that generation…. That would be you
Wow!…I will say…your right ..and your wrong…The housing market has never been more accessible..unless of course you want to live by the coast..and …THATS a want!..not a need.. 3% mortgage rates for you guys???try 18% for us..or worse! The environment?
yes and no…keep voting right..and YES..its ruined..look up who constantly..overturns…safegaurds that were put in place by the left.
blah blah..Guess what.?….boomers really never blamed their parents..they just wanted to get out into the world.and get started..with life…Blaming your folks..is easy..going through a bitcoin plunge…hmm..not so much…common sense man.When the “pyramid party” comes to town…and wants money…tell them your going bowling..its more fun.
I’d like to buy some punctuation since you’ve obviously got so much to spare.
In what world is the average home cost being over $300,000 accessible? I know you bought your house in 1977 for $32,000 and now it’s worth $500,000 so please tell me how it is accessible??
Probably because we’re living longer.
..and weve discovered/created tons more medical problems than previous generations were aware of.
You have to also wonder how many more contaminates have been thrown at us in every aspect of our lives. Preservatives in our food. Insecticides and herbicides. Foods contaminated with growth hormones and antibiotics. Forever chemicals in our food packaging and cookware. Second hand smoke from our parents and others we lived or worked with. More stress from an ever faster pace of life. Just an obaservation.
Lose the f**king ads! They cover half the page on a laptop, couldn’t read the f***king article!
“The Greatest Generation” did not nearly have the same availability to medical care, making it to their senior years was a major event. A simple ear infection could be fatal. Now we live longer and their are more of us with geriatric ailments. Of course the booze, drugs, tobacco and stress of children that refuse to grow up does not help either.
Lots of factors to consider – obesity, poor dietary recommendations from usda (which ones are correct, they keep changing), pollution in 60s, 70s, nuclear testing fallout, the effect of illicit drugs, more sedentary lives, more office work, more time caring for elders because they are living longer ( a blessing but a challenge), suntanning fad, more stress as lives become busier and more complicated, etc, etc.
Could also be some things not considered – are they counting the pre-boomers who died young? Perhaps only the healthier folks with better immune systems survived childhood and are being included, while in the boomer generation they made it through, which is again a good thing. How far back can this analysis go – would the WWII generation show up as less healthy than the WWI generation?
The difference today is that we live under pharmaceutical tyranny. People are treated for various conditions based solely on tests from blood work etc. – not symptoms. Doctors are incentivized and programmed to get as many people on as many medications as possible. So of course more people are going to have multiple conditions when compared to a time when you only sought medical care for manifested symptoms.
The amount of pharmaceutical advertising and monetary influence on healthcare policy is insane.
How are we doing on life expectancy?
The questions:Agree 1. Better or improved acess to health care.all of the above
How’s boomer life expectancy compared to previous cohorts?
Reading this eating a big mixed greens & chicken breast salad before I rest awhile and go gyming in the early a.m. (back/biceps night). I’m 70 and my doctor wishes he had my blood test numbers. Good health is up to the individual. Who cares how a generation does?
Wow. Litanies of misinformed, biased, braindead comments from entitled assholes. Go bury your heads in the sand.
Born in ’36. Dunno what gen that makes me. But experienced the WWII years during which especially meats and butter were scarce, also predated frozen transported and packaged foods, and for the most part “fast foods”. Always thought that helped if early years are most important. But also greater exposure to “childhood’ diseases — think I had them all except polio. Also Doc came to the house then — had to have some positive bedside effect. Also during the ’50s, “free” state college tuition made it possible to work one’s way through without debt. Included great and teaching focused teaching staff. Presently physically active with no significant health issues or prescription med needs — but recognize luck as a probable factor.
lol. almost everyone of the previous boomer generation died in their 60’s… all of my grandparents, aunts, uncles died in their 60’s. if you lived into your 70’s you were ancient. boomers live at least a decade longer…
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