To investigate the risks of mortality and cancer incidence in Parkinson's disease (PD) we studied the prognosis of 246 PD patients in a community. The cohort of PD patients was identified in 1984, and survival, mortality, relocation, and cancer incidence during 1984-1992 were examined retrospectively in 1994. The risk was measured by a standard effect estimate, i.e., the standardized mortality ratio (SMR) or the standardized incidence ratio (SIR), compared with the rates in the general population. During the observation period 696 person-years in PD men and 1018 person-years in PD women were accumulated, and 49 PD men and 53 PD women died. The risk of mortality in PD was significantly increased in both sexes (SMR: men 1.74, women 1.97). In addition, the risk of cancer incidence was evaluated in 228 patients aged under 80 years; 8 PD men and 7 PD women developed cancer. The risk of overall cancer incidence in PD was less than 1 in either sex, but not significantly. The risk of breast cancer in PD women was significantly increased (SIR: 5.49), but the 95% confidence interval was wide (1.10-16.03). The results indicate that PD patients in a community have a twofold higher risk of mortality, and that PD may be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer in women.