High prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and reduced bone mass in Parkinson's disease

Neurology. 1997 Nov;49(5):1273-8. doi: 10.1212/wnl.49.5.1273.


Despite excessive hip fractures in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD), little is known about bone changes in these patients. We measured bone mineral density (BMD; Z scores) in PD patients and analyzed its relation to serum biochemical indices and sunlight exposure. We measured BMD in 71 patients in the second metacarpals and divided the patients into two groups according to functional independence; group 1, Hoehn and Yahr stages 1 and 2; and group 2, stages 3 to 5. In four of 20 patients in group 1 (20%), the Z score was less than -1.0, indicating osteopenia. In 51 patients in group 2, 31 (61%) had a Z score less than -1.0. The group 1 patients showed a normal mean serum level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD; 21.7 ng/ml), while most group 2 patients were in a deficiency range (group mean 8.9 ng/ml). Many group 2 patients were sunlight deprived. Both groups had elevated serum ionized calcium levels correlating positively with Hoehn and Yahr stage and markedly depressed serum 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25-[OH]2D) concentrations, indicating that immobilization-induced hypercalcemia had inhibited 1,25-[OH]2D production. Z scores correlated positively with 25-OHD levels and negatively with parathyroid hormone concentration and Hoehn and Yahr stage. Vitamin D deficiency due to sunlight deprivation and hypercalcemia induces compensatory hyperparathyroidism, which contributes to reduced BMD in PD patients, particularly those who are functionally dependent. Low BMD increases risk of hip fractures in patients with PD but may be improved by vitamin D supplementation.

Publication types

  • Retracted Publication

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bone Density
  • Bone Diseases, Metabolic / complications
  • Bone Diseases, Metabolic / diagnosis*
  • Bone Diseases, Metabolic / epidemiology*
  • Bone Diseases, Metabolic / metabolism
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Female
  • Hip Fractures / etiology
  • Hip Fractures / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metacarpus / metabolism
  • Middle Aged
  • Parathyroid Hormone / blood
  • Parkinson Disease / complications
  • Parkinson Disease / epidemiology*
  • Parkinson Disease / metabolism*
  • Prevalence
  • Vitamin D / analogs & derivatives
  • Vitamin D / blood
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / complications
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / epidemiology*


  • Parathyroid Hormone
  • Vitamin D
  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D
  • Calcium