ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Know Your Asthma Triggers
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture Eases Side Effects of Head, Neck Cancer Treatments
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Insight on Herbals Eludes Doctors, Patients Alike
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Tequila Plant May Help Fight Bone Loss
Rheumatoid Arthritis Rising Among U.S. Women
Most Kids With Type 1 Diabetes Lack Vitamin D
CANCER
Steady Weight Gain Boosts Late-Life Breast Cancer Risk
Green Tea Compound Slowed Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
CAREGIVING
Late-Life Fatherhood May Lower Child's Intelligence
Many Hospital Patients Can't ID Their Doctors
Injected Medication Errors a Major Problem
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
Bye, Bye Back Fat?
COSMETIC
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Periodontal Disease Impacts Whole Health
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Good Oral Hygiene May Protect Against Heart Infections
DIABETES
Coffee, Tea Might Stave Off Diabetes
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
DIET, NUTRITION
Compound in Red Wine Fights Ravages of Age
Decline of Underweight Children in U.S. Continue to Fall
Vitamin D May Help Keep Aging at Bay
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Global Warming Linked to Heightened Kidney Stone Risk
Meat-Eating Dinosaurs Used Legs and Arms Like Birds
Hurricane Threats: Time to Batten Down the Hatches
EYE CARE, VISION
Contact Lens Cases Often Contaminated
Music Can Help Restore Stroke Patients' Sight
Nutrient-Rich Diet Lowers Risk of Age-Related Eye Disease
FITNESS
Maximize Your Run
Good Warm-Ups Could Halve Sports Injuries
Fliers Can Keep Blood Clots at Bay
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
GENERAL HEALTH
Green Spaces Boost the Body and the Mind
U.S. Spends Billions On Alternative Medicine
Keep Fire Safety in Mind as You Celebrate
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Polyunsaturated Fats Really May Lower Heart Risk
Relaxation Tapes or Mozart Lower Blood Pressure
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Standard IQ Test May Underestimate People With Autism
Guard Kids' Eyes Against Long-Term Sun Damage
3 Home Habits Help Youngsters Stay Slim
MEN'S HEALTH
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
Countdown to Hair Loss
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Common Social Groups and Race, Seem to Help People Relate
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
Psychotherapy Can Boost Happiness More Than Money
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
SENIORS
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
More Whole Grains May Mean Less Fat
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
Supportive Weigh-In Program Keeps Pounds Off
Air Pollution Slows Women's Marathon Times
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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