We assessed the prevalence of Parkinson's disease in Cantalejo, Spain. In 1994, we screened 1,579 persons (age > or = 40 years) using a high-sensitivity method. Cases fulfilling established clinical criteria were followed for a minimum of 3 years. Prevalences were compared with those from other door-to-door surveys. We detected 27 individuals with parkinsonism, 20 of whom had Parkinson's disease. The prevalence of Parkinson's disease increased with age and, when age-adjusted to European standards, was 9.01 per 1,000 (age 40 years and over; 10.78 in men and 5.23 in women). Of the 11 men, three were in Hoehn & Yahr grades III-IV, but six of the nine women were more severely affected. Overall, we found 18 newly diagnosed cases of parkinsonism, 13 of which were Parkinson's disease, and the majority of which were in men aged 80 years or older with a mean duration of illness of 5 years. Our prevalence figures are the highest reported, apparently because of the inclusion of several very elderly men. Parkinson's disease in Cantalejo is less severe in men than in women, particularly in those newly diagnosed. Despite the low numbers, the high prevalence and sex-related pattern are unexplained but they probably relate to the high sensitivity of the screening method.
Copyright 2002 Movement Disorder Society