Parkinson disease survival: a population-based study

Arch Neurol. 2000 Apr;57(4):507-12. doi: 10.1001/archneur.57.4.507.


Objective: To evaluate whether the survival of patients with Parkinson disease (PD) is shorter than that of the general population.

Design: 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.

Setting: A door-to-door 2-phase prevalence survey performed in 3 Sicilian municipalities.

Patients: Fifty-nine patients with PD and 118 controls.

Results: 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.

Conclusion: This study indicates that patients with PD have a shorter survival time than the general population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cause of Death
  • Cohort Studies
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Heart Diseases / mortality
  • Humans
  • Levodopa / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Parkinson Disease / drug therapy
  • Parkinson Disease / epidemiology
  • Parkinson Disease / mortality*
  • Pneumonia / mortality
  • Prevalence
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Sex Distribution
  • Sicily / epidemiology
  • Survival Analysis
  • Survival Rate


  • Levodopa