To evaluate whether the survival of patients with Parkinson disease (PD) is shorter than that of the general population.
Survival was investigated in a cohort of patients with PD previously identified during a population-based prevalence study (prevalence day, November 1, 1987; reference follow-up date, October 31, 1995). The survival of patients with PD was compared with that of a control sample randomly selected from the same population (2 controls for each case, matched for age, sex, and study municipality). The causes of death in the 2 groups were also compared. Both univariate and multivariate survival analyses were performed to investigate the association with disease-related variables.
A door-to-door 2-phase prevalence survey performed in 3 Sicilian municipalities.
Fifty-nine patients with PD and 118 controls.
Patients with PD showed a high risk of death (relative risk, 2.3; 95% confidence interval, 1.60-3.39). Greater age at November 1, 1987, high Hoehn-Yahr score, and lack of levodopa therapy were associated with a lower survival on univariate analysis. Multivariate analysis confirmed the association between shorter survival among patients with PD and greater age on November 1, 1987. One-way analysis of variance indicated a different effect of levodopa therapy according to age. Multivariate analysis did not confirm this finding. Pneumonia was the cause of death most frequently associated with PD.
This study indicates that patients with PD have a shorter survival time than the general population.