Objective: To examine the relation between milk and calcium intake in midlife and the risk of Parkinson disease (PD).
Methods: Findings are based on dietary intake observed from 1965 to 1968 in 7,504 men ages 45 to 68 in the Honolulu Heart Program. Men were followed for 30 years for incident PD.
Results: In the course of follow-up, 128 developed PD (7.1/10,000 person-years). Age-adjusted incidence of PD increased with milk intake from 6.9/10,000 person-years in men who consumed no milk to 14.9/10,000 person-years in men who consumed >16 oz/day (p = 0.017). After further adjustment for dietary and other factors, there was a 2.3-fold excess of PD (95% CI 1.3 to 4.1) in the highest intake group (>16 oz/day) vs those who consumed no milk. The effect of milk consumption on PD was also independent of the intake of calcium. Calcium from dairy and nondairy sources had no apparent relation with the risk of PD.
Conclusions: Findings suggest that milk intake is associated with an increased risk of Parkinson disease. Whether observed effects are mediated through nutrients other than calcium or through neurotoxic contaminants warrants further study.