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Keywords:

  • idiopathic Parkinson's disease;
  • mortality;
  • epidemiology;
  • controlled study

The increasing age of the general population and of patients suffering from Parkinson's disease suggests that a reappraisal of mortality rates and factors related to increased mortality should be carried out. A 3.5 year follow-up of a whole population sample of 267 patients and 233 controls matched by age, sex and general practitioner, yielded a relative mortality rate of 2.35 (99%-confidence interval: 1.60–3.43). Factors predicting death within the follow-up period were: cognitive impairment, old age, late age of onset, long history of smoking, lower blood pressure, and a variety of signs, symptoms and sequelae of Parkinson's disease associated with decreased mobility. However, age less than 70 years, age of onset before 66 years, absence of kyphosis or normal Webster posture score, mild impairment on the Hoehn & Yahr scale (1–2), or no impairment in a 10-question mental status questionnaire (9–10), were not associated with an increased risk of death.