The growing geriatric otolaryngology patient population: A study of 131,700 new patient encounters

Francis X. Creighton, Stanislav M. Poliashenko, Melissa M. Statham, Peter Abramson, Michael M. Johns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives/Hypothesis: To establish the effects the changing population demographics in the United States are having on the general practice otolaryngologists. Study Design: Retrospective analysis of 131,070 consecutive new patient visits at a large private practice otolaryngology group from 2004 to 2010. Methods: Billing records for new patient visits from 2004 to 2010 were reviewed. Analysis of patient age, diagnosis, and year of presentation was completed to determine changes in patient demographics and frequencies of diagnoses stratified by age groups. Predictive analysis was performed to determine future trends in patient demographics. Results: Geriatric patients showed a statistically significant increase from 14.3% of the patient population in 2004 to 17.9% in 2010. Predictive analysis shows that at the current rate, almost 30% of all patients seen by 2030 would be over the age of 65 years. The most common pathologies seen in geriatric patients were also different than that of other age groups, with the five most common geriatric diagnoses being otologic in nature. Geriatric patients also have an overall increased proportion of otologic diagnoses, with 73% of all geriatric diagnoses being otologic, compared to just 32% of those aged 18 to 45 years. Conclusions: Our data show that the changing population is causing the frequency and type of disease seen by general otolaryngologists to change. This information may be useful in structuring both residency training curricula as well as licensing and recertification exams to ensure otolaryngologists are properly prepared to care for their future patient population. Laryngoscope, 2013

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-102
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Level of Evidence: 4
  • Patient demographics
  • geriatric otolaryngology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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