Prevalence of medical factors related to aging among older car drivers: a multicenter, cross-sectional, descriptive study

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Aim: An increasing number of older adults in Japan are at an increased risk of road traffic crashes. This study aimed to investigate the prevalence of potential underlying medical factors that increase the risk of road traffic crashes among older people. Methods: This cross-sectional observational study was conducted in 11 medical institutions in Japan using self-administered questionnaires and physical examination from January to May 2021. The background and social data, data on the use of nursing care insurance, and clinical data suggestive of polypharmacy, sarcopenia, cognitive impairment, and frailty/oral frailty were obtained. The prevalence of these factors was compared between everyday and occasional drivers. Results: Data of 127 patients were collected; their median (interquartile range) age was 73 (70–78) years. Of the total participants, 82 were men (64.6%) and 45 were women (35.4%). There were 77 everyday drivers and 50 occasional drivers. Of these, 121 (95.3%) had not applied for nursing care insurance, but the numbers of those who required help 1 and 2 were 1 (0.8%) and 3 (2.4%), respectively. Prevalence of medical factors was as follows: polypharmacy, 27.6%; sarcopenia, 8.7%; dementia, 16.4%; frailty, 15.0%; and oral frailty, 54.3%; it was not significantly different between every day and occasional drivers. Intention to return the car license was significantly higher among the occasional drivers (2.6% vs. 14.0%; odds ratio: 6.7, 95% confidence interval: 1.2–70.6, p = 0.024). Conclusion: We uncovered the prevalence of medical factors that can be associated with road traffic crashes among Japanese older people aged ≥ 65 years in our community.

Original languageEnglish
Article number792
JournalBMC Geriatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Aging
  • Dementia
  • Frailty
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Older people
  • Polypharmacy
  • Sarcopenia
  • Traffic safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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