A nationwide study of the incidence, prevalence and mortality of Parkinson’s disease in the Norwegian population
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionNPJ Parkinson's Disease. 2022, 8, 19. 10.1038/s41531-022-00280-4
Epidemiological studies of Parkinson’s disease (PD) show variable and partially conflicting findings with regard to incidence, prevalence, and mortality. These differences are commonly attributed to technical and methodological factors, including small sample sizes, differences in diagnostic practices, and population heterogeneity. We leveraged the Norwegian Prescription Database, a population-based registry of drug prescriptions dispensed from Norwegian pharmacies to assess the incidence, prevalence, and mortality of PD in Norway. The diagnosis of PD was defined based on the prescription of dopaminergic drugs for the indication of PD over a continuous time. During 2004–2017, 12,229 males and 9831 females met our definition for PD diagnosis. PD prevalence increased over the observation period, with larger changes observed in the older age groups. Incidence and prevalence of PD increased with age, peaking at 85 years. The male/female prevalence ratio was 1.5 across all ages, whereas the incidence ratio increased with age, from 1.4 in those 60 years, to 2.03 among those >90 years. While PD mortality was generally higher than that of the general population, mortality odds ratios decreased with age, approaching 1.0 among individuals >90 years old. When adjusted for the sex-specific mortality of the general population, the mortality among females with PD was equal to or higher than the mortality among males with PD. Our findings demonstrate that the epidemiological features of PD, including sex-differences, are age and time-period dependent and indicate that sex differences in PD mortality are unlikely to stem from disease-specific negative impact of survival in males.