Previous studies have suggested increased mortality among anesthesiologists. We report age-standardized mortality rates and causes of death among Finnish anesthesiologists.
Data covering the deaths of all medical specialists during 1984-2000 were obtained and analyzed. There were 799 deaths, of which 18 involved anesthesiologists. The causes of deaths of these anesthesiologists were obtained from the database of Statistics Finland.
The age-standardized mortality rate (SR) for the male anesthesiologists was 33.9 years (per 1000), and that for the other male specialists was 84.6 years. The SR for the female anesthesiologists was 45.4 years, and that for the other female specialists was 77.3 years. The mean age at death among the anesthesiologists was 63.0 years (SD 11.0), while the mean age at death among the other specialists was 68.6 years (SD 14.7). The age structures of the anesthesiologists and other specialists were different, with the anesthesiologists being younger.
The different age distributions of the anesthesiologists and other specialists caused the difference in age at death. The SR values for the anesthesiologists are clearly lower than those for other specialists. Thus, the present findings do not show increased mortality among Finnish anesthesiologists.