Nearly all older adults have a chronic health condition

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Nine out of 10 people aged 65 and older in the U.S. have at least one chronic health condition, a new report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality found.

About 77% of seniors have two or more chronic conditions, according to the report, which is based on 2005 data. It defines a chronic condition as one expected to last at least one year and result in limitations or the need for ongoing care. Three out of every four dollars spent on prescription drugs goes toward treating these chronic conditions.

The average yearly outlay among elderly persons with two or more conditions is $6,000, the report asserts. People with concurrent chronic conditions spend nearly three times as much on treatment of acute conditions compared with people with no chronic conditions.

To view the report in its entirety, visit http://www.meps.ahrq.gov/mepsweb/data_files/publications/st203/stat203.pdf.