[Age, health status and the utilization of general practitioners and specialists]

Soz Praventivmed. 1996;41(1):36-46. doi: 10.1007/BF01358845.
[Article in German]


Data collected by mailed survey and a random sample of 2552 German adults, are analyzed via stepwise regression for the relationship between age and visits to GPs and Specialists. Contrary to common opinion and descriptive analysis the relationship is weak and non-linear. The total effect shows that contacts with GPs do not increase with age much an more. Analysis also shows that effects for both groups of physicians are not only biological but also cohort effects, the latter measured via education. Older people collectively have less education, show consequently 1. worse health and 2. more contacts with GPs than specialists. Results in light of debates about rationing and the cost saving behavior of older people have immediate importance for the policies of health care.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Family Practice
  • Female
  • Germany
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medicine
  • Middle Aged
  • Personal Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sampling Studies
  • Specialization