Parkinson's disease, stroke, and related epidemiology

Authors

  • Andrew Nataraj MD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Neurology, Royal University Hospital, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
    • Division of Neurosurgery, Office of the Chairman, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5G 1X8
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  • Ali H. Rajput FRCP

    1. Division of Neurology, Royal University Hospital, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
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Abstract

We investigated the prevalence of cerebrovascular disease and other comorbidities in Parkinson's disease (PD) patients compared to the general population. Five hundred PD patients were chosen randomly from one author's (A.H.R.) database. Age- and sex-matched controls were derived from 270 patients with essential tremor from the same database and from 490 patients in a general practitioner's database. Age, hypertensive status, smoking status, coronary artery disease, orthostatic hypotension, diabetes mellitus, and symptomatic cerebrovascular disease (stroke or transient ischemic attack) were assessed. Statistical analysis was performed using Pearson χ2 testing and binary logistic regression analysis. The prevalence of coronary artery disease, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and orthostatic hypotension was similar among groups. The PD group had more patients who never smoked and less current smokers than the other groups. While there were similar frequencies of symptomatic cerebrovascular disease among groups, the prevalence of stroke was lower in PD patients. This difference disappeared upon stratification into groups based on smoking status and in the addition of smoking as a covariate in the multivariate analysis. Diminished smoking in PD patients likely plays a role in our finding of decreased stroke in patients with PD. Increased access to appropriate neurological care and subsequent prevention of stroke after a warning transient ischemic attack may also play a role, as may diminished levels of excitotoxic neurotransmitters in PD patients. © 2005 Movement Disorder Society

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