Parkinson’s disease incidence substantially higher than previously reported, study shows

incidence of Parkinson’s disease (PD) turned out to be 50% higher than previous estimates, and it increased with age and was higher among men. The findings were recently reported in parkinson’s disease.

PD is the second most common age-related neurodegenerative condition diagnosed in North America, with a prevalence growing at a faster rate than any other neurodegenerative disease.

As the population in Western nations has shifted to include a greater proportion of older adults, the public health and economic burdens of age-associated neurodegenerative diseases have also increased, with an estimated economic cost of $52 billion per year. year only in the United States. prominent researchers.

Estimates of the PD burden are vital to public health response efforts, and the findings of a Previous analysis by the study authors using multinational data from current and past epidemiology projects indicated that the prevalence of PD diagnoses was higher than previously reported.

Building on their efforts to improve estimates of PD prevalence, they sought to investigate whether this trend would also hold true for PD incidence, an important complementary statistic that is a more direct reflection of the impact of PD risk factors. an illness.

“Previous estimates of the incidence of PD have varied, for unclear reasons. There is a need for better estimates of the incidence of PD, not only for future care planning and policy, but also to increase our understanding of disease risk,” the researchers said.

A retrospective analysis was performed using data from 5 North American epidemiologic cohorts in a common year, 2012: Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Honolulu-Asia Aging Study, Rochester Epidemiology Project, US Medicare program, and Ontario health administrative databases. The cohorts contained data on 6.7 million person-years of adults older than 45 years and 9.3 million person-years of adults older than 65 years.

By aggregating the available data, estimates of PE incidence stratified by age and sex were derived. Spatial clustering of PD risk was further explored through smoothing and hierarchical Bayesian modelling.

Estimates of the age- and sex-adjusted incidence of PD have been shown to range from 108 to 212 per 100,000 among persons 65 years and older, and from 47 to 77 per 100,000 among persons 45 years and older. Previous PE incidence rates, based on smaller studies, were estimated to be in the range of 40,000 to 60,000 per year. The new incidence rate was found to be 1.5 times higher with nearly 90,000 cases per year.

The incidence estimates of PD increased with age in the decades 65 to 74 years and 75 to 84 years in each study sample, with a higher incidence of PD among men compared with women in all the ages.

A clustering of counties with a higher incidence of PD was also shown in southern California, southeastern Texas, central Pennsylvania, Florida, and the “Rust Belt,” which consisted of parts of the northeastern and midwestern United States. with a history of heavy industrial manufacturing. . Areas of lowest incidence included the Mountain West region, the Western Midwest, and the Far Northwest.

“Unique to this study, we found that estimates of the incidence of PD have varied for many reasons, including how cases are identified and the geographic location of the study,” said Allison Willis, MD, lead study author and associate professor of neurology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, in a Press release. “The persistence of the PD belt in the United States could be due to population, health care, or environmental factors. Understanding the source of these variations will be important for health care policy, research, and planning.”

Brian Fiske, PhD, study co-author and chief scientific officer of the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, added: “The growth in people diagnosed with and living with PD underscores the need to invest in more research for better treatments. “, a cure, and one day, prevention. It is also a clear call to lawmakers to implement policies that reduce the burden of Parkinson’s disease on American families and programs like Medicare and Social Security.”


Willis AW, Roberts E, Beck JC, et al. Incidence of Parkinson’s disease in North America. NPJ Parkinson’s disease. 2022;8(1):170. doi:10.1038/s41531-022-00410-y

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