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PDF Statement on 2010 National Mortality Data

Earlier today, the National Center for Health Statistics released its annual mortality data, “Deaths: Preliminary Data for 2010” which highlights facts about Parkinson’s disease.  In particular, the report states that age-adjusted death rates for Parkinson’s disease increased by 4.6 percent.
Members of the Parkinson’s community, who have seen commentary on this new report, may wonder how the data impact their lives and those of their loved ones.
Robin Elliott, Executive Director of the Parkinson's Disease Foundation (PDF) provided the following observations,
“Any conclusions about changes in death rates over a single year should be made only with great caution. 
"However, the significant increase in the number of Parkinson’s-related deaths that appears in this report – when seen in the context of the significant decreases reported in such areas as some cancers and cardiovascular conditions, which, like Parkinson’s, are especially prevalent among people in their older years – suggest that Parkinson’s is becoming more likely to be cited as the cause of death.  In other words, a person who suffers with both cancer and Parkinson’s is relatively more likely today, than in previous years, to die of Parkinson’s because some cancers have become much more treatable.
"The data point to the reality that the efficacy of treatments currently available for Parkinson’s lags behind the efficacy of treatments for these other conditions – pointing to an urgent and growing need for better treatments, improved care and a cure for Parkinson’s.
"This in turn, provides a powerful argument for increases in investment – by the National Institutes of Health, the pharmaceutical industry and other engines of science and drug development – in research designed to improve our understanding of Parkinson’s and the treatments we need to combat it.
"PDF will continue to fund research of the highest caliber to improve the lives and futures of people touched by Parkinson’s.”
If you have additional questions about this report, please contact PDF’s National HelpLine at (800) 457-6676 or

Source Date: Jan 11 2012