Posted on Apr 23, 2012, 6 a.m.
People with diabetes may have a heightened risk of developing Parkinson's disease, especially at a relatively young age.
A number of recent research studies suggest a link between diabetes and Parkinson's disease, with the two conditions likely sharing some common underlying causes. Yu Sun, from En Chu Kong Hospital (Taiwan), and colleagues assessed data from health insurance claims filed by more than one million Taiwanese adults -- including just over 600,000 with diabetes. The researchers found that over nine years, people with diabetes were more likely to be diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. They were diagnosed at a rate of 3.6 cases per 10,000 people each year, as compared to 2.1 per 10,000 among people without diabetes. When the researchers factored in age, sex and certain other health conditions, they found that diabetes was still linked to an increased risk of Parkinson's -- especially at a relatively young age. Among women in their 40s and 50s, those with diabetes had twice the risk of Parkinson's that diabetes-free women did. The study authors conclude that: “Diabetes is associated with an increased risk of [Parkinson’s Disease] onset in a Chinese population, and the relation is stronger in women and younger patients.”
Yu Sun, Ya-Hui Chang, Hua-Fen Chen,Ying-Hwa Su, Hui-Fang Su, Chung-Yi Li. “Risk of Parkinson Disease Onset in Patients With Diabetes: A 9-year population-based cohort study with age and sex stratifications,” Diabetes Care, March 19, 2012.