, Volume 252, Issue 10, pp 1201-1205
Date: 12 Sep 2005

Gender and the Parkinson’s disease phenotype

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Abstract

Objectives

To determine whether there are gender differences in the Parkinson’s disease (PD) phenotype using a large clinic–based cohort.

Methods

We examined gender differences in demographic, historical and clinical characteristics in a consecutive clinical series of 1264 individuals diagnosed with PD.

Results

The majority of individuals in the sample were male (67 %). Comparative analyses showed males and females were not significantly different on most demographic and historical characteristics. For both genders, the mean age and the mean age at symptomatic onset were about 70 and 63 years, respectively and, thus, disease duration was not significantly different between genders. The proportion of individuals with a positive family history of PD (15 %) was similar for both genders. A positive history of depression was significantly higher in females (35 % vs. 24 %). The UPDRS instability score was significantly worse among females, whereas the rigidity score was significantly worse for males. Females showed significantly worse ADL capacity and a more advanced H&Y stage. The proportion of individuals receiving antiparkinsonian medication (about 66 %) and time between the last dose and the clinical evaluation (about 4 hours) was similar for both genders. There was a trend for lower daily levodopa equivalence dosage and more severe dyskinesia score among females but these differences did not reach statistical significance after Bonferroni correction.

Conclusions

The majority of comparisons tended to highlight the commonalities in the PD phenotype between genders, particularly in reference to historical and early disease stage characteristics. However, gender may be an important factor related to the expression of PD features during the symptomatic disease course.