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Are men at greater risk for Parkinson’s disease than women?
  1. G F Wooten1,
  2. L J Currie1,
  3. V E Bovbjerg2,
  4. J K Lee2,
  5. J Patrie2
  1. 1Department of Neurology, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, USA
  2. 2Department of Health Evaluation Sciences, University of Virginia School of Medicine
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr G F Wooten
 Department of Neurology, Box 800394, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA;


Parkinson’s disease seems to occur more commonly in men than women based primarily on studies of death rates and prevalence. In recent years, several population based incidence studies of Parkinson’s disease that included sex data have been conducted in a variety of populations around the world. To investigate whether these incidence studies suggest an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease in men, a meta-analysis was performed of the differences in incidence of Parkinson’s disease between men and women reported in seven studies that met the inclusion criteria. A significantly higher incidence rate of Parkinson’s disease was found among men with the relative risk being 1.5 times greater in men than women. Possible reasons for this increased risk of Parkinson’s disease in men are toxicant exposure, head trauma, neuroprotection by oestrogen, mitochondrial dysfunction, or X linkage of genetic risk factors.

  • Parkinson’s disease
  • sex differences
  • risk factors

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  • Competing interests: none declared