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US Senior's Health Poorest, Global Survey Finds

Update Date: Nov 21, 2014 09:31 AM EST

Seniors in America have more chronic health problems and they take more medications than seniors in 10 other industrialized countries do, according to a new global survey. 

The survey further found that US seniors stood out among 11 nations surveyed, struggling to get and afford health care they need. 

The survey collected responses from 15,617 older adults in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. 

Eighty-seven percent of U.S. adults who are 65 and older suffer from at least one chronic illness, and 68 percent have at least two illnesses, which were the highest rates found, according to the survey. Also, 53 percent of older Americans take at least four medications, another record high, and 21 percent spend at least $2,000 in yearly out-of-pocket health care costs, which was second only to Switzerland, the press release added. 

"The retirement of baby boomers means pressure on Medicare will intensify," David Blumenthal, M.D., president of The Commonwealth Fund, said during a news briefing. Despite the moderating of health care costs in recent years, Blumenthal added that "costs are still going up too fast to be sustainable over the long term, and this will be exacerbated by increasing numbers of elderly individuals."

The findings of the survey was published in the journal Health Affairs

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