Perceived Discrimination and Multimorbidity Among Middle-Aged and Older Adults
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Multimorbidity, the presence of multiple chronic conditions, is increasingly recognized by researchers as a major health priority. Relative to younger adults, the burden is much higher among middle-aged and older adults with prevalence estimates ranging from 25-98%. Variations in the burden of multimorbidity within the aging population exist with a growing body of research showing racial/ethnic differences in the incidence, prevalence, and severity of multimorbidity. This study analyzed the association between perceived racial discrimination and multimorbidity among middle-aged and older adults and whether or not existing associations vary by race/ethnicity. Findings show that individuals reporting perceived discrimination are more likely to have multimorbidity. While racial/ethnic differences in the association between perceived discrimination and multimorbidity were not observed, Black respondents displayed the greatest risk for multimorbidity. Perceived discrimination may provide insight into why multimorbidity varies by race/ethnicity through the mechanisms of stress responses and health behaviors.