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Science News

People with Parkinsonís Have Normal Life Expectancy

Ten years after a Parkinson’s disease (PD) diagnosis the survival rate among people with the disease is the same as for the general population, according to a study published online in the journal Movement Disorders.

The new study followed 238 people with Parkinson’s for 20 years or more, longer than previous assessments of life expectancy with the disease. All were treated by movement disorder specialists at an academic medical center. The results debunk the common assumption that secondary complications of PD shorten the lives of people with Parkinson’s. In fact, the researchers found that—just as in the general population—heart disease was the leading cause of death among study participants, who lived on average to be 77 years old.

Among people who lived with PD for 15 or 20 years, the survival rate was only slightly lower than for the general population, for people of the same age.  The researchers also found that gait disorder or a lack of resting tremor at diagnosis predicted a lower survival rate, and that women with PD lived slightly longer than men.

Source Date: Mar 05 2009