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Despite the increasing global importance of Parkinson's disease (PD), its exact incidence in the general population is not known. Comparing published studies, incidence rates from 1.5 to 19/100 000 person-years have been reported but such differences cannot simply be attributed to between-population differences in PD risk as no two studies have used the same case ascertainment strategy.1 We have previously published the results of a community-based study of incident parkinsonism including PD in Cambridgeshire, UK: CamPaIGN (Cambridgeshire Incidence of PD from GP to Neurologist).2 We now report the findings of a novel second incidence study in the same base population, using the same case ascertainment strategy: PICNICS (Parkinsonism: Incidence and Cognitive and Non-motor heterogeneity In CambridgeShire). This unique undertaking enables us to present a comparative analysis of these studies, representing the most complete set of PD incidence data yet reported in a defined population.
The PICNICS study recruited newly diagnosed cases of PD and parkinsonism resident in Cambridgeshire between 1 April 2008 and 31 January 2010. Detailed methods including inclusion and exclusion criteria are available from the author. To summarise, case ascertainment was performed using a service-based screen of the normal routes of UK/National Health Service (NHS) healthcare referral. All general practitioners (GPs) and hospital specialists working with suspected/newly diagnosed PD operating in the county were regularly contacted by mail and electronically throughout the study period. They were instructed to refer all consenting cases …
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