One-third of US physicians in vulnerable COVID-19 category, study shows

Nearly 1 in 3 licensed physicians in the U.S. are older than 60 years, placing them in the age range that is particularly vulnerable to developing severe cases of COVID-19, according to a new study.

The study, which has not been peer-reviewed, examines the 2018 database of physicians from the Federation of State Medical Boards that includes all actively licensed physicians across the country.

Of the 985,026 licensed physicians in the US,

● 235,857, or 23.9 percent, were between the ages of 25 and 40 years
● 447,052, or 45.4 percent, were between 40 and 60 years
● 191,794, or 19.5 percent, were between 60 and 70 years
● 106121, or 10.8 percent, were 70 years or older.

The database did not report ages for 0.4 percent of the physicians.

Overall, 297,915 or 30.2 percent of physicians were 60 years of age or older.

The study also shows that North Dakota and Vermont had the lowest number of physicians 60 years or older, with 1,180 and 1,215 respectively. California had the highest number of physicians 60 years and up, with 50,786. New York followed, with 31,582 physicians in that age range.

The study authors suggest limiting direct patient contact for physicians vulnerable to severe COVID-19 infection and potential adverse outcomes, "by expanding their participation in telehealth."



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