Survival time, mortality, and cause of death in elderly patients with Parkinson's disease: a 9-year follow-up

Mov Disord. 2003 Nov;18(11):1312-6. doi: 10.1002/mds.10537.


This community-based study of Parkinson's disease (PD) investigated age at death and cause of death in a cohort of 170 previously studied patients. The current study is a 9-year follow-up, and the results are compared to 510 sex- and age-matched controls from the same area. A total of 170 patients were diagnosed with PD on August 31, 1989, within a defined area of Sweden. A control group of 510 persons from the same area and with the same age and sex distribution was also examined regarding age at death and cause of death. After 9.4 years, 121 cases (71.1%) and 229 controls (44.9%) were no longer alive. Thus, the mortality rate ratio was 1.6 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.3-1.8) when comparing PD patients with controls. The all-cause hazard ratio for cases compared to controls was 2.4 (95% CI, 1.9-3.0). The mean age at death for the cases was 81.9 (95% CI, 80.3-83.0) years and for the controls 82.9 (95% CI, 82.0-83.7) years. Survival analysis also showed a shorter survival time (P < 0.001) for PD patients. Only 53% of the death certificates for the deceased patients recorded PD as an underlying or contributory cause of death. Many PD patients reached a high age but had a shorter survival than the controls. There was a significant increase in deaths from pneumonia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Catchment Area, Health
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / complications*
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / mortality
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / complications*
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Male
  • Myocardial Ischemia / complications*
  • Myocardial Ischemia / mortality
  • Parkinson Disease / complications*
  • Parkinson Disease / epidemiology
  • Pneumonia / complications*
  • Pneumonia / mortality
  • Survival Rate
  • Sweden / epidemiology