Recreational physical activity and risk of Parkinson's disease

Authors

  • Evan L. Thacker SM,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
    Current affiliation:
    1. Cardiovascular Health Research Unit and Department of Epidemiology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
    • 1730 Minor Ave., Ste. 1360, Seattle, WA 98101
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  • Honglei Chen MD, PhD,

    1. Epidemiology Branch, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA
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  • Alpa V. Patel PhD,

    1. Epidemiology and Surveillance Research Department, American Cancer Society, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
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  • Marjorie L. McCullough ScD,

    1. Epidemiology and Surveillance Research Department, American Cancer Society, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
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  • Eugenia E. Calle PhD,

    1. Epidemiology and Surveillance Research Department, American Cancer Society, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
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  • Michael J. Thun MD,

    1. Epidemiology and Surveillance Research Department, American Cancer Society, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
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  • Michael A. Schwarzschild MD, PhD,

    1. Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
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  • Alberto Ascherio MD, DrPH

    1. Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
    2. Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
    3. Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate associations between recreational physical activity and Parkinson's disease (PD) risk. We prospectively followed 143,325 participants in the Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort from 1992 to 2001 (mean age at baseline = 63). Recreational physical activity was estimated at baseline from the reported number of hours per week on average spent performing light intensity activities (walking, dancing) and moderate to vigorous intensity activities (jogging/running, lap swimming, tennis/racquetball, bicycling/stationary bike, aerobics/calisthenics). Incident cases of PD (n = 413) were confirmed by treating physicians and medical record review. Relative risks (RR) were estimated using proportional hazards models, adjusting for age, gender, smoking, and other risk factors. Risk of PD declined in the highest categories of baseline recreational activity. The RR comparing the highest category of total recreational activity (men ≥ 23 metabolic equivalent task-hours/week [MET-h/wk], women ≥ 18.5 MET-h/wk) to no activity was 0.8 (95% CI: 0.6, 1.2; P trend = 0.07). When light activity and moderate to vigorous activity were examined separately, only the latter was found to be associated with PD risk. The RR comparing the highest category of moderate to vigorous activity (men ≥ 16 MET-h/wk, women ≥ 11.5 MET-h/wk) to the lowest (0 MET-h/wk) was 0.6 (95% CI: 0.4, 1.0; P trend = 0.02). These results did not differ significantly by gender. The results were similar when we excluded cases with symptom onset in the first 4 years of follow-up. Our results may be explained either by a reduction in PD risk through moderate to vigorous activity, or by decreased baseline recreational activity due to preclinical PD. © 2007 Movement Disorder Society

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