News Headlines Article

Study: Patients may fare worse when treated by older docs

Patients treated by older doctors have higher mortality rates than those treated by younger physicians, according to a new study.

Researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School found higher mortality rates for patients treated by physicians aged 60 or older than those aged 40 or younger, according to a study published in The BMJ. Mortality rates for inpatients within a month of admission were 12.1% compared to 10.8%, which accounted for one additional patient death per 77 treated for the older docs.

The results, which the researchers said were “modest yet clinically meaningful” in an announcement, are similar to the differences in death rates for patients with heart disease who are treated with the correct medications versus those given no medications.