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Prevalence of Parkinson’s disease and other types of Parkinsonism

A door-to-door survey in Bidasoa, Spain

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To assess the prevalence of Parkinson’s disease and parkinsonism in two Spanish populations (Irun and Hondarribia, Bidasoa Region) and to compare the results with those of similar surveys.


The survey included 2000 participants aged 65 years or older in a door-to-door, three-phase design. In the screening phase we used the SNES (Sicilian Neuro-Epidemiologic Study) screening questionnaire, which has 100% sensitivity. In phases 2 and 3 we carried out a 3-year follow-up of all cases diagnosed with parkinsonism in phase 2. Progressively stricter diagnostic criteria were chosen in order to minimize the impact of false positives on the final results.


The prevalence of Parkinson’s disease (PD) was 1.5 % (95% confidence interval, 0.9 to 2.3) and the prevalence of other types of parkinsonism (OP) was 1.1 % (95% confidence interval 0.6 to 1.9). The overall prevalence by age group was 0.4 % (65–74 years), 4.7% (75–84 years), and 2.9% (≥ 85 years) for Parkinson’s disease and 0.7%, 2%, and 3.9 % for parkinsonism, respectively. The other parkinsonism prevalence was 1.3 % in men and 1.6 % in women.


These prevalence rates are similar than those found in studies made in other European countries. The prevalence of both Parkinson’s disease and other types of parkinsonism increased with age, with no significant differences between men and women.

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Correspondence to A. Bergareche MD.

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Bergareche, A., De la Puente, E., López de Munain, A. et al. Prevalence of Parkinson’s disease and other types of Parkinsonism. J Neurol 251, 340–345 (2004).

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