ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture Cuts Dry Mouth in Cancer Patients
Maggots as Good as Gel in Leg Ulcer Treatments
Many Cancer Patients Turn to Complementary Medicine
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
For All Their Plusses, Pets Pose a Risk for Falls, Too
Genes May Help Drive Rotator Cuff Injury
In Elderly Women, Hip Fractures Often Follow Arm Breaks
CANCER
Smoking Exposure Now Linked to Colon, Breast Cancers
Quitting Smoking Doubles Survival in Early Stage Lung Cancer
Sharing Cancer Info May Be Empowering
CAREGIVING
Study of Everest Climbers Questions Oxygen Use
Caregiving May Lengthen Life
Obese Children More Likely to Suffer Lower Body Injuries
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Walk 100 Steps a Minute for 'Moderate' Exercise
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
Firefighters Have Narrower-Than-Normal Arteries, Study Finds
COSMETIC
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Disease Treatment Doesn't Cut Preterm Birth Risk
Acid Drinks Blamed for Increase in Tooth Erosion
Gum Disease May Reactivate AIDS Virus
DIABETES
Lifestyle Factors Tied to Older Adults' Diabetes Risk
Brown Rice Bests White for Diabetes Prevention
Fish Twice a Week Cuts Diabetics' Kidney Risks
DIET, NUTRITION
10 Beginner Tips for Fast Weight Loss, the Low-Carb Way!
Even in 'Last Supper,' Portion Sizes Have Grown
Decline of Underweight Children in U.S. Continue to Fall
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Main Ingredients in Household Dust Come From Outdoors
Skin Woes Take Toll on U.S. Combat Troops
Pesticides Linked to Parkinson's
EYE CARE, VISION
Eye Disease, Cognitive Decline Linked in Study
Eye Problems, Hearing Loss May Be Linked
Nutrient-Rich Diet Lowers Risk of Age-Related Eye Disease
FITNESS
Consciousness Helps the Mind and Body Work Together
Barefoot Best for Running?
Simple Steps Get Walkers Moving
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
GENERAL HEALTH
'Soda Tax' Wins Health Experts' Support
Mind Exercise Might Help Stroke Patients
Have Fun This Summer, But DO Be Careful
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Risk Factor for Stroke More Common Among Whites
Obese People Seem to Do Better With Heart Disease
Heart Disease May Be Prevented By Taking Fish Oils, Study Shows
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Time to Remind Teens About Sun Protection
Wood Fires Can Harm the Youngest Lungs
Green Tea May Help Brain Cope With Sleep Disorders
MEN'S HEALTH
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
MENTAL HEALTH
Heal Your Life® Tips for Living Well
Common Social Groups and Race, Seem to Help People Relate
Teen Internet Addicts More Likely to Self-Harm: Study
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
SENIORS
Want Better Health in the New Year, Add Exercise to Your Day
Fitness Fades Fast After 45
15-Point Test Gauges Alzheimer's Risk
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Calcium Helps Ward Off Colon Cancer
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
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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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