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Cerebrovascular Risk Factors May Up Risk for Parkinson Disease

Most cerebrovascular risk factors linked to higher risk for subsequent diagnosis of Parkinson disease

FRIDAY, Aug. 30, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Most cerebrovascular risk factors are associated with an increased risk for subsequent diagnosis of Parkinson disease, according to a study published online Aug. 29 in the Annals of Neurology.

Using claims data from a 5 percent random sample of Medicare beneficiaries, Benjamin R. Kummer, M.D., from Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City, and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study to examine whether cerebrovascular risk factors are associated with subsequent diagnoses of Parkinson disease and compared these associations to those with subsequent diagnoses of Alzheimer disease.

The researchers found that 1.5 and 7.9 percent of the 1,035,536 Medicare beneficiaries were diagnosed with Parkinson disease and Alzheimer disease, respectively, during a mean follow-up of 5.2 years. Associations were seen for subsequent diagnosis of Parkinson disease with most evaluated cerebrovascular risk factors, including prior stroke (hazard ratio, 1.55). The magnitudes of these correlations were similar to those between cerebrovascular risk factors and Alzheimer disease, although they were attenuated. Most cerebrovascular risk factors were not associated with a subsequent diagnosis of renal colic, confirming the validity of the analytical model.

“Because many cerebrovascular risk factors are modifiable, and both Alzheimer disease and Parkinson disease impose considerable public health burdens, these hypothesis-generating results should prompt translational research efforts to evaluate the effects of vascular disease on the pathobiology of Parkinson disease,” the authors write.

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