The association of select medical conditions with road transport and other hospitalised injury among older adults
ACRS, DOI:10.33492/JRS-D-19-00131, https://doi.org/10.33492/JRS-D-19-00131
Submission Date: February 27, 2020 Journal
Suggested Citation: Mitchell, R., Harvey, L., Toson, B., Draper, B., Brodaty, H. and Close, J. (2020). “The association of select medical conditions with road transport and other hospitalised injury among older adults”. Journal of Road Safety, 31(1), 20-29. https://doi.org/10.33492/JRS-D-19-00131
Introduction: Certain cognitive and physical conditions have been associated with increased risk of injury, particularly risk of vehicle crashes among older car drivers. This study aims to examine the association of seven select medical conditions among hospitalised road users compared to other hospitalised injuries, and to estimate the hospitalised injury rates of car drivers, car passengers and pedestrians with these medical conditions. Method: An examination of road transport and nonroad transport hospitalised injury involving adults aged ≥50 years identified during 2003-2012 in New South Wales, Australia was conducted. Medical conditions were identified from hospital diagnosis records. Conditional fixed effects logistic regression conditioned on the matched cases and comparison-cohort estimated odds ratios for each medical condition by road user type. Results: There were 35,134 road transport injuries (10,664 car drivers and 4,907 pedestrians) and 447,858 nonroad transport injuries. Individuals with vision disorders, cardiovascular disease including stroke, diabetes, and osteoarthritis had higher odds of hospitalisation for an injury as a car driver compared to all other hospitalised injuries. Individuals with diagnoses of dementia or alcohol dependence had a lower odds of an injury hospital admission as a road user (excluding pedestrians) compared to all other hospitalised injuries. Conclusions: As the population ages, there are likely to be more older road users with comorbidities that may affect their ability to drive or safely cross the road. Community mobility strategies need to take into account the influence of comorbid health conditions for older adults.