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Health Update: Alzheimer's hazard

PATIENTS in the first stages of Alzheimer's disease who continue to drive can be a hazard to themselves and others, according to a survey published in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society.

The survey, which compared the driving habits of 67 Alzheimer's patients with 100 elderly people, found that over a three-year period the former had 263.2 traffic accidents per million vehicle miles of travel, compared with 14.3 for the latter group. This was in spite of the fact that the Alzheimer's drivers tended to drive fewer miles, avoided rush hour and drove more slowly.