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Eur J Epidemiol. 2003;18(12):1133-42.

Case-control study of environmental risk factors for Parkinson's disease in Belgium.

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  • 1Laboratory of Neurobiology, Born Bunge Foundation, University of Antwerp, Wilrijk, Belgium.


The aetiology of Parkinson's disease (PD) is unknown and said to be multifactorial. We report on a retrospective epidemiological case control study, performed in Flanders during a 3-year period, investigating known and potential environmental risk factors for PD by means of questionnaires. We investigated 423 prevalent patients and 205 spouse-controls. We found familial occurrence in 15% of the patients, a mean age of onset of 58 years, and a clear male preponderance (male/female ratio 1.53). Our results suggest more nulliparity among female PD patients (95% CI: 1.08-5.76). We found a discrete clustering of patients in areas with intensive metallurgic frequently employed in metallurgy than controls (95% CI: 1.04-9.20). Furthermore, patients were clearly more exposed to zinc (95% CI: 1.51-90.90) and toluene (95% CI: 1.03 58.82). Male patients report more prostatectomy-surgery (95% CI: 1.54-17.24).

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