Preliminary data from Sweden indicating that anesthesiologists have a high mortality risk has caused a lot of concern in Denmark. The aim of this study therefore was to compare mortality between consultant anesthesiologists and other consultants in Denmark.
A historical prospective cohort study based on the membership register of the Danish Medical Association from 1973 to 1992. The study population consisted of 6854 consultants who were members of the Association of Medical Specialists, 406 of whom were anesthesiologists. The all-cause mortality between the two groups was compared during the period 1972-95 using Cox's proportional hazard regression model.
The study covered approximately 86000 person-years. A total of 1205 deaths occurred within the period studied, 41 of whom were anesthesiologists. The relative risk for all-cause mortality among the anesthesiologists compared with all the other consultants was 1.0 (95% confidence limit: 0.7-1.4).
In Denmark there is no evidence of a high mortality risk in consultant anesthesiologists compared with other consultants.