ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Green Tea May Help Brain Cope With Sleep Disorders
Wristbands May Lessen Nausea After Radiation
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
New Clues to How Fish Oils Help Arthritis Patients
Rheumatoid Arthritis Rising Among U.S. Women
Rheumatoid Arthritis Hits Women Harder
CANCER
Yoga Eases Sleep Problems Among Cancer Survivors
Green Tea May Help Prevent Oral Cancer
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
CAREGIVING
Children's Bath Products Contain Contaminants
New Guidelines for Treating Heart Failure
Transition From Home to Hospital Rarely Seamless
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
Firefighters Have Narrower-Than-Normal Arteries, Study Finds
Health Tip: Are You Anemic?
COSMETIC
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Disease May Reactivate AIDS Virus
Gum Care Helps Control Type 2 Diabetes and Its Complications
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
DIABETES
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
Exercise Protects Black Women From Type 2 Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Holiday Eating Without the Guilt -- or the Pounds
Antioxidant-Rich Foods Lose Nutritional Luster Over Time
Asparagus May Ease Hangover
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Ozone Pollution Taking Toll on American Lives
Former Inmates at Increased Risk for High Blood Pressure
Database Helps Assess Your Breast Cancer Risk
EYE CARE, VISION
Magnetic Pulses to Brain Improve Lazy Eye in Adults
Too Much Sun, Too Few Antioxidants Spell Eye Trouble
Cases of Age-Related Farsightedness to Soar
FITNESS
Walking Golf Course Affects Swing, Performance
Being Active an Hour a Day Puts Brakes on Weight Gain
Keep Safety in Mind While Your Kids Are Cooling Off in the Water
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
GENERAL HEALTH
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Keep Fire Safety in Mind as You Celebrate
Cocaine Spurs Long-Term Change in Brain Chemistry
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Irregular Heartbeat Tied to Alzheimer's Disease
Psychiatric Drugs Might Raise Cardiac Death Risk
Western Diet Linked To Heart Disease, Metabolic Syndrome
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Standard IQ Test May Underestimate People With Autism
Even Young Kids Can Learn CPR
Too Many Infants Short on Vitamin D
MEN'S HEALTH
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Teen Internet Addicts More Likely to Self-Harm: Study
Using the Mind to Heal the Heart
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
Yoga's Benefits Outweigh Risks for Pregnant Women
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
SENIORS
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
Boost In Elderly Population Will Be Felt Worldwide
Protein Deposits May Show Up Before Memory Problems Occur, Study Says
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Exercise During Pregnancy Keeps Newborn Size Normal
Natural Relief for Painful Menstrual Cramps
Add your Article

Florida Vision Test Law: Fewer Traffic Deaths Among Elderly

TUESDAY, Nov. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Mandatory vision screening for Florida drivers over the age of 80 may be associated with lower death rates from traffic crashes in this age group, a new study says.

Vision screening for drivers over age 80 is a Florida law, passed in 2004, and requires all people 80 and older to pass the exam before they can renew their driver's license. For this study, researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham analyzed 2001-06 data on motor vehicle collision traffic deaths among all drivers in Florida. They then compared those rates to neighboring states Alabama and Georgia, which don't require vision tests for elderly drivers.

From 2001 to 2006, overall motor vehicle collision death rates in Florida increased by 6 percent, from 14.61 to 14.75 per 100,000 people per year. However, death rates among elderly drivers decreased by 17 percent, from 16.03 to 10.76 per 100,000. In Alabama and Georgia, there were no changes in death rates among older drivers.

The study was published in the November issue of the journal Archives of Ophthalmology.

While a number of possible reasons could explain the death rate decline in Florida, study author Gerald McGwin Jr. and colleagues suggested, "the most apparent reason is that the screening law removed visually impaired drivers from the road. However, in reality, the situation is significantly more complex."

The researchers noted that about 93 percent of elderly drivers were able to renew their license, which indicates that only a small percentage were denied licenses, because they failed to meet the vision standards.

In addition, it's possible the vision screening law improved elderly drivers' visual function overall, because many who failed the first test sought vision care and returned with improved vision. It's also possible that those with poor vision didn't even bother to apply for license renewal.

"Ultimately, whether the vision screening law is responsible for the observed reduction in fatality rates because of the identification of visually impaired drivers or via another, yet related, mechanism may be inconsequential from a public safety perspective," the study authors wrote. "However, the importance of driving to the well-being of older adults suggests that isolating the true mechanism responsible for the decline is, in fact, important."

Identifying this mechanism would enable states to introduce laws that accurately target high-risk older drivers while allowing low-risk older drivers to keep their licenses and mobility, the researchers said.

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Aging has more about problems facing older drivers.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: JAMA/Archives journals, news release, Nov. 10, 2008

Last Updated: Nov. 11, 2008

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