Is car use related with successful aging of older adults? Results from the multinational Mediterranean islands study

Ann Epidemiol. 2017 Mar;27(3):225-229. doi: 10.1016/j.annepidem.2016.12.006. Epub 2017 Jan 17.


Purpose: The aim of the present work was to evaluate the relation between car use and the level of successful aging of a random sample of older adults living in the Mediterranean basin.

Methods: During 2005-2011, 2749 older (aged 65-100 years) from 22 islands and the rural Mani region (Peloponnesus) of Greece were voluntarily enrolled in the Mediterranean islands cross-sectional study. Sociodemographics, medical conditions, and dietary and lifestyle habits were derived throughout standard procedures. Car use was recorded with a standard binary question. A successful aging index ranging from 0-10 was used.

Results: Older adults who used a car on regular basis had significantly higher levels of successful aging, as well as less prevalence of obesity and hypertension while were more physically active (P < .001). After adjusting for several confounders car use was still positively related with elderly islander's successful aging level (beta coefficient [95% confidence interval]: 0.65 [0.54-0.77]).

Conclusions: In conclusion, the activity of car use seems to be an indicator of quality of life among older adults, as measured through successful aging.

Keywords: Car use; Driving; Mediterranean islands; Older adults; Successful aging.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Aging / psychology*
  • Automobile Driving / psychology*
  • Automobile Driving / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Greece
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mediterranean Islands
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Rural Population / statistics & numerical data*