We study the effect of ageing, defined an extra year of life, on health care utilisation, disentangling the effect from other alternative explanations such as the presence of comorbidities and endogenous time to death (TTD), the influence of which is argued to render the effect of ageing on health care a 'red herring'. We exploit individual level end of life data from several European countries that records the use of medicine, outpatient and inpatient care as well as long-term care. Consistently with a 'red herring hypothesis', we find that corrected TTD estimates are significantly different from uncorrected ones, and its effect size exceeds that of an extra year of life, which in turn is moderated by individual comorbidities. Corrected estimates suggest an overall moderate effect of ageing, which does not influence outpatient care utilisation. These results suggest the presence of 'more than one red herring' depending on the type of health care examined.