Postmenopausal estrogen use affects risk for Parkinson disease

Arch Neurol. 2004 Jun;61(6):886-8. doi: 10.1001/archneur.61.6.886.


Background: Although estrogen therapy has been associated with improved cognitive functioning, a reduced risk of dementia in women with Parkinson disease (PD), and a decreased risk of Alzheimer disease, estrogen therapy has not affected the risk of PD per se.

Objective: To determine whether postmenopausal women with PD differed from control subjects with regard to estrogen exposure.Design, Setting, and Patients A case-control design was used, abstracting questionnaire data obtained via interview from 133 female PD cases and 128 female controls during routine outpatient clinic visits in 1999 at a mid-Atlantic tertiary care referral center. There were 140 subjects (68 PD cases and 72 controls) who met the inclusion criteria. Main Outcome Measure Use of postmenopausal estrogen therapy.

Results: More women in the control group than in the PD group took postmenopausal estrogen (36 [50%] of 72 women vs 17 [25%] of 68 women; P<.003), and women who had taken postmenopausal estrogen were less likely to develop PD than those who had not (odds ratio, 0.40 [95% confidence interval, 0.19-0.84]; P<.02). Among PD cases only, postmenopausal estrogen use was not associated with age of onset.

Conclusion: Postmenopausal estrogen therapy may be associated with a reduced risk of PD in women.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Estrogen Replacement Therapy / adverse effects*
  • Estrogen Replacement Therapy / statistics & numerical data
  • Estrogens / pharmacology
  • Estrogens / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Parkinson Disease / drug therapy
  • Parkinson Disease / epidemiology*
  • Parkinson Disease / prevention & control
  • Parkinson Disease / psychology
  • Postmenopause / drug effects*
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • Estrogens