Parkinson’s is the second most common age-related neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimer’s disease. An estimated seven million to 10 million people worldwide have Parkinson’s disease.
The prevalence of the disease ranges from 41 people per 100,000 in the fourth decade of life to more than 1,900 people per 100,000 among those 80 and older.
The incidence of the disease, or the rate of newly diagnosed cases, generally increases with age, although it can stabilize in people who are older than 80. An estimated 4 percent of people with Parkinson’s are diagnosed before the age of 50.
Men are 1 1/2 times more likely to have Parkinson’s than women.
The disease affects patients’ quality of life, making social interaction more difficult and worsening patients’ financial condition — due to the medical expenses associated with it.
Population studies on the incidence of Parkinson’s are important to scientists’ understanding of the disease’s history, how it progresses, and the risk factors associated with it. Information about the incidence in different age groups and genders can help healthcare experts design strategies to meet patients’ needs.
Parkinson’s statistics in selected countries
About one million Americans are thought to have Parkinson’s, more than those affected by multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, and Lou Gehrig’s disease combined.
Every year, about 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s. This, of course, does not reflect the thousands of cases that go undetected.
The combined direct and indirect costs of Parkinson’s in the United States, including treatment, disability and similar payments, plus lost income from an inability to work, are estimated at $25 billion per year.
The average cost of Parkinson’s medication is $2,500 per year. Parkinson’s-related surgery can cost up to $100,000 per patient.
The prevalence of Parkinson’s in Canada is estimated at 55,000 people in households and 12,500 in residential care facilities. Among the household population, 79 percent are 65 or older, while in care institutions, almost everyone with the disease — 97 percent — is 65 or older.
In Canada, men are more likely to have the disease than women. The figures are 0.3 of a percent for men versus 0.2 of a percent for women in private households, and 6.6 percent of men versus 4 percent of women in care facilities.
About 56 percent of patients receive formal or informal assistance due to their condition. Of those who receive it, 84 percent rely on family, friends or neighbors, while 56 percent obtain other assistance.
The prevalence of Parkinson’s in the United Kingdom is one in 500 people, with about a total of about 127,000 people having the disease.
Every hour, someone is diagnosed with Parkinson’s in Britain, experts say. Most are 50 or older.
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