Height as a potential indicator of early life events predicting Parkinson's disease: A case-control study



Aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between height in young adult age and Parkinson's disease (PD) risk. We included 266 persons affected by idiopathic PD. Patients were matched by age and sex to 266 controls by a random selection from the municipality of residence. We collected information about height preceding PD from official documents where these characteristics referred to young adult age (nearly 30 years). We compared height in cases and controls by calculating differences in mean distribution and by χ2 analyses. Crude and adjusted odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated by logistic regression models. Mean height was significantly lower in persons affected by PD compared to controls (P = 0.03). Difference was significant only in men (P = 0.001). Logistic regression models showed an inverse association between height and PD (OR 0.35; CI 0.16, 0.79; P < 0.01 comparing individuals in the highest percentiles of height with those in the lowest). Our results indicate an association between height and PD in men. Considering that dopamine sensitivity in the hypothalamic-pituitary axis is related to adult height, our findings suggest a relationship between PD and factors modulating somatic growth early in life. © 2007 Movement Disorder Society