Driving status and three-year mortality among community-dwelling older adults

Jerri D. Edwards, Martinique Perkins, Lesley A. Ross, Sandra L. Reynolds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

139 Scopus citations


Background. Driving cessation can lead to myriad negative consequences for older adults. The purpose of these analyses was to examine driving status as a predictor of mortality among community-dwelling older adults. Methods. This prospective cohort study included 660 community-dwelling adults ranging in age between 63 and 97 years. Between 2000 and 2004, participants completed performance-based assessments of vision, cognition, and physical abilities and indexes of health, depression, self-efficacy, and driving habits. Follow-up telephone interviews were completed approximately 3 years later. Results. Among community-dwelling older adults, older age, health, poor near visual acuity, depressive symptoms, compromised cognitive status, and being a nondriver are associated with increased risk for a 3-year mortality. Nondrivers were four to six times more likely to die than drivers during the subsequent 3-year period. Conclusions. The ability to drive represents both a sign of cherished independence and underlying health and wellbeing for older adults. Retaining this ability is an important health concern in the United States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)300-305
Number of pages6
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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