Objectives – To investigate the association of major lifestyle-related risk factors with the prevalent cases of Parkinson's disease (PD) identified by the Italian Longitudinal Study on Aging.
Methods – A total of 5632 individuals randomly selected from the population registers of eight centers were screened for parkinsonism using both a questionnaire and a neurologic examination. Screened positives underwent a structured clinical work-up for the diagnosis of parkinsonism and parkinsonism subtypes.
Results – We identified 113 prevalent cases of PD. Age, male gender, and pesticide-use license were significantly related to PD. Heavy smoking was inversely related to PD. Age (OR = 1.1; 95% CI, 1.06–1.15) and pesticide-use license (OR = 3.7; 95% CI, 1.6–8.6) kept their significant correlation with the disease in the multivariate analysis to adjust for all the variables under investigation. Multivariate analyses were made for men and women separately: pesticide exposure was positively associated with PD only in men.
Conclusions – Pesticide exposure might represent a candidate for environmental factors involved in PD.