ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
Know Your Asthma Triggers
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture May Not Help Hot Flashes
Pain-Relieving Powers of Acupuncture Unclear
Yoga May Bring Calm to Breast Cancer Treatment
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Beware of Dog Bites
Safe Toys for Dogs
BONES & JOINTS
Living Near Major Road May Boost Rheumatoid Arthritis Risk
Fruits and Veggies May Strengthen Bones
Heart Failure Raises Risk of Fractures
CANCER
Seaweed May Help Treat Lymphoma
Higher Vitamin D Intake Could Cut Cancer Risk
Gene Studies Reveal Cancer's Secrets
CAREGIVING
Flu Strikes a Milder Blow This Season
Newborn Screenings Now Required Across U.S.
Early Exercise Boosts Outcomes for ICU Patients
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Health Tip: Are You Anemic?
High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans
Smog Tougher on the Obese
COSMETIC
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
DENTAL, ORAL
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
Gum Disease May Reactivate AIDS Virus
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
DIABETES
Drug May Not Help Diabetes-Related Eye Damage
Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes Updated
24 Million Americans Had Diabetes in 2007
DIET, NUTRITION
Is Your Refrigerator Getting Enough Attention For Your Raw Food Success?
Atkins Diet Tougher on Heart After Weight Loss
Uncover Why Turmeric Helps You Heal
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Exposure to 9/11 Fumes Tied to Chronic Headaches
Sunken, Unexploded Bombs Pose Cancer Risk
Bed Bugs Bring No Disease Danger
EYE CARE, VISION
Florida Vision Test Law: Fewer Traffic Deaths Among Elderly
Poor Night Vision May Predict Age-Related Eye Disease
High Temps Degrade Contact Lens Solution: Study
FITNESS
Fliers Can Keep Blood Clots at Bay
Antioxidants Blunt Exercise Benefit, Study Shows
You Can Get Great Exercise In The Garden
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
GENERAL HEALTH
Uncover Why Turmeric Helps You Heal
Standard IQ Test May Underestimate People With Autism
More Whole Grains May Mean Less Fat
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Kids With Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Heart Trouble
Drinking Your Way to Health? Perhaps Not
Whole Grains Lower Risk of Heart Failure
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Treat Kids to a Safe Halloween
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Fussy Babys Could Be Out Of Your Control
MEN'S HEALTH
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
MENTAL HEALTH
Meaningful Conversations Boost Kids' Language Skills
Worries About Weight Are Tied to Teen Suicide Tries
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year
SENIORS
Rapid Weight Loss in Seniors Signals Higher Dementia Risk
15-Point Test Gauges Alzheimer's Risk
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
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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