Which of the forms is correct: patients were of higher age or older age?

Could both forms be used?

I am asking for a formal use in medical scientific journals.

The most suited form here would probably be patients were older, but the question is if other forms are also acceptable.

  • You would not normally say either "higher/lower age" or "older/younger age" - you'd simply say "older" or "younger", or "the same age". – Max Williams Sep 21 '16 at 8:44
  • As noted, older is preferred, but if you want a phrase that includes age, then we usually use greater age. – JonLarby Sep 21 '16 at 9:10
  • Billions of people have died of old age. Not a single person has ever died of a high one. – RegDwigнt Sep 21 '16 at 11:19

"Of older age" is chiefly an Americanism/ of newer usage. (Opinion:) I would think it's obviously incorrect, though, much like "at *faster speed" and such.

Otherwise, it has mostly (and appropriately) been "of greater age," (opinion:) which I would recommend singularly — sadly, it's now losing to the older alternative everywhere.

Though "of higher age" is in use, especially in certain contexts, it's not the preferred phrase.

  • Where's English heading, see the nGrams cited. Use discretion. – Kris Sep 21 '16 at 10:43

I don't think it is common to say either higher age or older age. People normally say (in your case):

older/younger patients

Or patients of the same age, just like what Max said in the comment above.

But I also think it is grammatically correct to use patients of higher age or of older age (it's just not preferable to use). Apparently though, based on Google Trends, the phrase older age is more popular than higher age.

Older age is quite popular in the UK, US, Australia, India, Canada and South Africa. Whilst higher age is merely used in the UK, US and India.

Therefore, my conclusion is:

older patients is better to use than patients of older age than patients of higher age.


Perhaps you could say:

The results are dated _______ and patients who were born before _______ showed [...].

Here is a example from : https://www.sss.gov/Registration/Men-Born-Before-1960

NOTE: Men born from March 29, 1957 through December 31, 1959, were not required to register with the Selective Service System because the registration program was suspended when they would have reached age 18. The requirement to register with Selective Service was reinstated in 1980, but only for men born January 1, 1960, or later.

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