Treatment disparities in Parkinson's disease

Ann Neurol. 2009 Aug;66(2):142-5. doi: 10.1002/ana.21774.


We sought to identify racial disparities in the treatment of Parkinson's disease (PD). We identified 307 incident PD cases using Pennsylvania State Medicaid claims, and extracted claims for medications, physical therapy, and healthcare visits for the 6 months after diagnosis. After controlling for age, sex, and geography, African-Americans were four times less likely than whites to receive any PD treatment (odds ratio, 0.24; 95% confidence interval, 0.09-0.64), especially indicated medications. In a group with the same healthcare insurance, disparities in PD treatment exist. Physician and community awareness of these racial differences in PD treatment is the first step in addressing healthcare disparities.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • African Americans*
  • Antiparkinson Agents / therapeutic use
  • European Continental Ancestry Group
  • Female
  • Healthcare Disparities*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Medicaid
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Odds Ratio
  • Parkinson Disease / drug therapy
  • Parkinson Disease / ethnology*
  • Parkinson Disease / therapy*
  • Pennsylvania
  • United States
  • Urban Population


  • Antiparkinson Agents