Parkinsons Disease

Parkinsons disease statistics – what’s the risk factor?

While there is no set criterion as to who will be affected, and who will not – many studies have been conducted to determine some statistics and facts. These studies show that Parkinson’s disease is mostly found in patients over the age of 60. Within that population, risk for Parkinson’s disease has shown to increase between the ages of 60 and 75, then drop dramatically after the age of 75. Today, it is shown that approximately 3 percent of the population over 65 is affected and that is expected to double over the next 40 years.

While there are no definite answers as to who will develop Parkinson’s disease and who will not, scientists have determined several factors can play a role. The following paragraphs will describe how different factors can contribute to the development of Parkinson’s disease.

Gender Classification

Gender has been proven by studies to play a role in the development of Parkinson’s disease.  Statistics have shown that men run a higher risk of development than women.

Scientists believe this is due to estrogen in a women’s body, and link it to playing a role in protecting a women’s body from chemical changes that occur with Parkinson’s disease. If this is the case, women who have had hysterectomies run a higher risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, while women who endure estrogen replacement therapy run a lower risk than other women their age.

Ethnicity

Ethnicity also plays a role in development of Parkinson’s disease according to studies.  Statistics show that Caucasians have a higher risk of development than African Americans or Asian Americans. People with a European descent seem more apt to develop Parkinson’s disease, but other studies state just the opposite.

In a small percentage of Parkinson’s disease cases, family history has been shown to have played a role in the onset. People who have parents or siblings who have had a young onset of Parkinson’s disease, where symptoms began to develop before age 40, run a higher risk of young development, as well. When Parkinson’s disease is diagnosed at older ages, no heredity factor has been found.

While many factors can attribute to the development of Parkinson’s disease, it can happen to anyone, even someone who does not fall into the high risk group. There are no hard and fast rules for Parkinson’s disease, pointing to a definite answer as to who will develop it, and who will not.

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