Gender differences in 1-year survival rates after weight loss in people with idiopathic Parkinson's disease

Int J Palliat Nurs. 2012 Jan;18(1):35-9. doi: 10.12968/ijpn.2012.18.1.35.


Background: Under-nutrition is a recognized non-motor symptom of Parkinson's disease (PD). The aim of this retrospective study was to conduct an audit of recorded weight loss prior to death in people with PD and to identify whether weight loss was a predictor of death.

Methods: An audit of the medical records of people with PD was conducted. Patients were included if they were under the care of the North Tyneside General Hospital PD team, had a diagnosis of idiopathic PD, and died between 1 January 2008 and 31 December 2010. To assess whether there was a significant association between clinically significant weight loss and mortality, values of 5% and 10% weight loss from earliest available post-diagnosis baseline assessment were chosen as cut-offs.

Results: Data were available on 55 patients. Although females were more likely to have 10% weight loss than men, the difference was not significant. The odds of a female with weight loss surviving beyond 1 year were 23.4 (95% confidence interval (CI) 3.9-139.9) times better than those of a male for 5% weight loss and 10.0 (95% CI 1.8-55.6) times better than those of a male for 10% weight loss. These results were significant.

Conclusions: Outcomes for males with PD who have clinically important weight loss are poorer than for females. Nurses and other health workers should be aware of the need to monitor weight in people with PD.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parkinson Disease / physiopathology*
  • Survival Rate*
  • United Kingdom
  • Weight Loss*