Findings from recent studies have demonstrated age group differences in coping with illness. One explanation for these age group differences has received little attention: perceptions of illness may differ with age and these differences in perception may account for the observed differences in coping. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of age on illness perceptions along dimensions that influence coping. Specifically, we explored perceptions about aging as a cause of illness and perceptions about the effect of age on seriousness, curability and controllability of illness. Four hundred fifty-one community-dwelling adults (age range 20 to 90 years) participated in the study. The pattern of results showed respondents of all ages expressing the belief that aging is associated with increased susceptibility to disease and lowered potential for control or cure. Implications of these beliefs for health monitoring and coping with illness are discussed.