Parkinsons disease is a common and disabling condition, however
the causes of most cases remain unknown. The prevalence and incidence
of Parkinsons disease increase with age and is the most consistently
accepted risk factor for the disease. For all ages, the prevalence
and incidence of Parkinsons disease is higher among men than women.
This study by Paganini-Hill A, forming part of a prospective cohort
study of 13,979 residents of Leisure World Laguna Hills, a retirement
community in southern California, aimed at finding aetiological
clues for Parkinsons disease. The study population was a predominantly
white, well-educated, stable, health conscious, upper middle class
community. A total of 395 cases of Parkinsons disease were identified
between 1981(when the first questionnaire was mailed) and 1998.
For each case 6 controls were matched on sex, age, vital status
and, if dead, date of death. Baseline characteristics of the 395
cases and 2320 controls were analysed as potential risk factors.
A lowered risk for Parkinsons disease was found among smokers,
hyper-tensives, coffee users and alcohol drinkers while the disease
risk was elevated among those with 3 or more children and with
a high intake of total vitamin A and dietary vitamin C. The multivariate
OR was 0.42 (95% CI 0.22-0.80) for current smokers of one pack
or more daily, 0.71 (95% CI 0.52-0.95) for those drinking at least
two cups of coffee daily and 0.77 (95% CI 0.58-1.03) for those
having at least two alcoholic drinks per day. Risk increased with
increasing number of children (P = 0.0003 for trend).
The results suggest that several environmental factors may be
associated with the development of PD and corroborate a multifactorial
aetiology of PD. As with other studies, the results indicate that
alcohol use and coffee consumption are inversely associated with
PD risk. Source. Paganini-Hill A. Risk factors for Parkinsons
disease: the Leisure World Cohort Study. Neuroepidemiology 20