Report: Parkinson’s Disease Rates On The Rise In American Men — And A Decline In Smoking Might Be Why

Toni Matthews - Author

Jun. 22 2016, Updated 7:45 a.m. ET

Parkinson’s disease rates are reportedly on the rise among American men. One study points to a shocking reason for the alleged increase – and it might have cigarette companies leaping for joy. According to a report by Health Day, a team headed by the Mayo Clinic’s Dr. Walter Rocca examined health data from people in Olmsted County, Minn.

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“The research showed that rates of Parkinson’s disease nearly doubled for men between 1996 and 2005, and the increase was steepest for men aged 70 and older. Rates of a related condition called ‘parkinsonism’ among men also rose sharply between 1996 and 2005.”

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The rise in rates reflected solely on members of the male population; no such trend was noted among women.

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James Beck, president of scientific affairs at the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, reviewed the study. An expert on Parkinson’s disease, Beck believes the findings prove the number of American suffers are drastically underrepresented. Said James, “I believe this will be the first of several reports in the United States to demonstrate what the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation has come to realize: That the number of people living with Parkinson’s is dramatically undercounted.”

Another major takeaway could be relatively grim. Researchers noted the sharp rise in Parkinson’s disease rates in recent decades mirrored the sharp decline in American smokers.


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