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Medical News & Perspectives
January 27, 2010

Ethnic Shifts Raise Issues in Elder Care

JAMA. 2010;303(4):321. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1978

Baby boomers may seem like a thundering herd about to trample the US health care system with a raft of age-related chronic illnesses. But these soon-to-be seniors will challenge health professionals in ways that go beyond their sheer numbers.

The leading edge of boomers who reach age 65 years in 2011 will usher in the most diverse population of seniors in the country's history. By 2030, the US Census Bureau projects that the proportion of whites aged 65 years or older will decline by 11% while the older black population increases by 25%. The percentages of Hispanic and Asian elderly are expected to nearly double (http://www.census.gov/prod/2006pubs/p23-209.pdf).