Report: More seniors have three or more chronic conditions

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Report: More seniors have three or more chronic conditions
Report: More seniors have three or more chronic conditions
The prevalence of chronic conditions among Americans is on the rise with many people now saddled with up to three continuing afflictions. Nowhere is the up-tick more noticeable than among the senior citizen population, according to a report released Tuesday.

One reason for the dramatic increase in multiple chronic conditions could be the rise of obesity in the nation, report authors suggest. Among all age groups, the number of those with three chronic conditions-which could include diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease-rose from 7% in 1996 to 13% in 2005. Among those age 65 to 79, the rate rose to 45%, and rates among the over-80 crowd leapt from 38% in 1996 to 54% in 2005. The study appears in the journal Health Affairs.

Reforming the healthcare system to incorporate the Chronic Care Model could improve health and care, and potentially save the healthcare system money, according to another report appearing the same edition of Health Affairs. The Chronic Care Model is a proactive and preventive approach to treating chronic conditions that has been adopted at 1,500 facilities around the world, according to the report.

According to a review of 82 studies published over the last nine years, this multifaceted approach to chronic conditions helps people stay healthier longer, and should help lower spending on the conditions, which currently accounts for three out of every four dollars spent on healthcare.