Mortality in Physicians Who Perform Fluoroscopy-guided Procedures

August 17, 2017

Physicians who perform fluoroscopy-guided procedures are not at higher risk for cancer or death.

Physicians who perform fluoroscopy-guided interventional (FGI) procedures are not at higher risk for death from specific causes related to radiation risk compared with psychiatrists, according to a study published in Radiology.

Researchers from Maryland and Pennsylvania sought to compare the total and cause-specific mortality rates between physicians likely to have performed FGI procedures (FGI MDs) and psychiatrists to determine if any differences are consistent with known radiation risks. The researchers compared the mortality risks in nationwide cohorts of 45,634 FGI MDs and 64,401 psychiatrists. The cause of death was ascertained from the National Death Index.

During the follow-up from 1979 to 2008, 3,506 FGI MDs (86 women) and 7,814 psychiatrists (507 women) died. Male FGI MDs had lower totals compared with psychiatrists (men: RR, 0.80; women: RR, 0.80) and cancer (men: RR, 0.92; women: RR, 0.83) mortality. Mortality because of specific types of cancer, total and specific types of circulatory diseases, and other causes were not elevated in FGI MDs compared with psychiatrists. On the basis of small numbers, leukemia mortality was elevated among male FGI MDs who graduated from medical school before 1940.

The authors concluded that while more study is needed, overall total deaths and deaths from specific causes were not elevated in FGI MDs compared with psychiatrists.