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Neurol Neurochir Pol. 2005 Nov-Dec;39(6):445-50.

[The role of environmental factors in Parkinson's disease may depend on disease onset age].

[Article in Polish]

Author information

Klinika Neurologii Wieku Podeszłego, Slaska Akademia Medyczna, ul. Medyków 14, 40-752 Katowice Ligota.



Various factors are suspected to participate in PD onset and include environment-related factors and workplace exposure to pesticides, metals and hydrocarbons. Nevertheless, results of epidemiological research are inconsistent. Some authors emphasize hydrocarbons exposure to younger patients. Our aim was to compare PD risk factors to onset age.


Of 174 patients with idiopathic PD, without dementia, two subgroups were isolated: 65 patients with early onset PD (EOPD) below 50 (n=65, age 52.8+/-7.6 years, onset 42.8+/-5.3 years) and 109 patients with late onset (LOPD) above 50 (n=109, age 67.8+/-7.0, onset 60.8+/-6.7 years). Various environmental factors reported in literature were analyzed.


The univariate analysis showed that factors significantly predisposing to EOPD are vocational education (OR 3.24, 95%CI 1.50-7.00, p<0.003), smoking (OR 1.94, 95%CI 1.02-3.69, p<0.05), well water consumption at 20-40 (OR 2.77, 95%CI 1.31-5.86, p<0.008), and after 40 (OR 4.84, 95%CI 1.95-11.99, p<0.0007), side-effects following exposure to paints (OR 2.26, 95%CI 1.10-4.66, p<0.03) and exposure to solvents (OR 1.98, 95%CI 0.96-4.07, p<0.07) on borderline significance. Drinking well water both between 20-40 and after 40 involved a substantial increase in EOPD (OR 6.57, 95%CI 2.43-17.75, p<0.0002). Education only at a primary level proved to be protective against EOPD (OR 0.20, 95%CI 0.07-0.55, p<0.002). The multivariate logistic regression model demonstrated that independent EOPD risk factors are smoking (OR 2.20, 95%CI 1.07-4.53, p<0.04) and well water consumption both between 20-40 and after 40 (OR 8.29, 95%CI 2.73-25.23, p<0.0002), whilst the independent protective factor is education only at a primary level (OR 0.17, 95%CI 0.05-0.53, p<0.003).


Our research demonstrated that a number of independent environmental factors significantly affect the risk of PD onset at younger ages. Presumably, some of the observed differences in the results of research of various authors into PD risk factors may be caused by ignoring onset age within the researched patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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