Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

A report on aging populations and how their transportation needs are not being met

There’s no doubt the US population is increasingly aging*.  Transportation needs change as people age. For example, elderly people often are unable to drive vehicles and rely more on public transportation. Often public transportation does not fit their needs or is nonexistent where they live. This may lead to health needs not being addressed as they find they cannot easily get to health care provider offices and other places which meet their health and health related needs (as nutritious food).

The report…

  • Keeping Baby Boomers Mobile : Preserving the Mobility and Safety of Older Americans (February 2012) includes the following observations
    • While traffic fatalities have dramatically decreased in recent years, older Americans make up a disproportionally high share of fatal vehicle crashes. Certain situations and hazards are more challenging for older Americans.I
    • While older Americans overwhelmingly use private vehicles, public transportation options can be improved for all Americans
    • Improved transportation options could include expanded public transportation, ride sharing, volunteer drivers, and door-to-door community transportation services.

*From Older Americans Month- May 2011 [Profile American Facts and Features, US Census Dept]

39.6 million – The number of people 65 and older in the United States on July 1, 2009. This age group accounted for 13 percent of the total population. Between 2008 and 2009, this age group increased by 770,699 people.
Source: Population estimates <>

88.5 million -Projected population of people 65 and older in 2050. People in this age group would comprise 20 percent of the total population at that time.
Source: Population projections <>

Full Text Reports...

Traffic fatalities among older drivers remain disproportionately high; as baby boomers begin to turn 65, U.S. Transportation System Insufficient to Meet Their Growing Mobility and Safety Needs (PDF)
Source: TRIP
As the Baby Boom Generation begins to turn 65, the number of older Americans and their share of the overall population will swell dramatically. But, according to a new report, although these older Americans will be more mobile and active than any previous generation, they will face a transportation system that is inadequate to offer the mobility and safety demanded by older Americans and the population in general. The report, “Keeping Baby Boomers Mobile: Preserving Mobility and Safety for Older Americans,” was released today by TRIP, a national non-profit transportation research group based in Washington, D.C.

Despite their efforts to modify their own driving, and the fact that overall fatalities have declined in recent years, older motorists are still involved…

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February 25, 2012 Posted by | Consumer Safety, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Is the health of people living in rural areas different from those in cities? Evidence from routine data linked with the Scottish Health Survey

From the 25 February 2012 Full Text Report summary

This study has shown how linked data can be used to explore the possible influence of area of residence on health. We were unable to find a consistent pattern that people living in rural areas have materially different health to that of those living in primary cities. Instead, we found stronger relationships between compositional determinants (age, gender and socio-economic status) and health than contextual factors (including rurality).

Full Text Reports...

Source:  BMC Health Services Research
To examine the association between rurality and health in Scotland, after adjusting for differences in individual and practice characteristics.
Design: Mortality and hospital record data linked to two cross sectional health surveys. Setting: Respondents in the community-based 1995 and 1998 Scottish Health Survey who consented to record-linkage follow-up. Main outcome measures: Hypertension, all-cause premature mortality, total hospital stays and admissions due to coronary heart disease (CHD).
Older age and lower social class were strongly associated with an increased risk of each of the four health outcomes measured. After adjustment for individual and practice characteristics, no consistent pattern of better or poorer health in people living in rural areas was found, compared to primary cities. However, individuals living in…

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February 25, 2012 Posted by | Public Health | , , , | Leave a comment


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