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Eye Tests Tied to Less Dementia in Older Drivers Who Crash

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 31, 2018 -- Vision testing and in-person renewal requirements are significantly related to a reduced prevalence of dementia in older adults hospitalized after car crashes, according to a study published online Jan. 31 in Neurology.

Yll Agimi, Ph.D., M.P.H., from Salient CRGT Inc. in Silver Spring, Md., and colleagues used data from the State Inpatient Databases of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to identify drivers hospitalized because of vehicle crashes. The authors used multivariable logistic regression to assess the effect of mandatory physician reporting of at-risk drivers and state licensing requirements on the prevalence of dementia among hospitalized drivers.

The researchers found that physician reporting laws, both mandated and legally protected, were not associated with a lower likelihood of dementia among crash-hospitalized drivers. In states with in-person renewal laws, hospitalized drivers aged 60 to 69 years were 37 to 38 percent less likely to have dementia than drivers in other states. In states with vision testing at in-person renewal, hospitalized drivers aged 60 to 69 were 23 to 28 percent less likely to have dementia than drivers in other states. Among hospitalized drivers ≥80 years, road testing was associated with lower dementia prevalence.

"While much remains to be discovered regarding the relationship between dementia and crash hospitalizations among older drivers, a further look into the practices of physician reporting, especially adherence to reporting laws, would complement the findings reported here," the authors write.

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Posted: January 2018