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Estimated life expectancy of Parkinson’s patients compared with the UK population
  1. Lianna S Ishihara1,
  2. Anne Cheesbrough2,
  3. Carol Brayne1,
  4. Anette Schrag3
  1. 1
    Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
  2. 2
    GlaxoSmithKline, Stockley Park, UK
  3. 3
    Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University College London, London, UK
  1. Dr Anette Schrag, University Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Royal Free and University College Medical School, Rowland Hill St, London NW3 2PF, UK; a.schrag{at}


Objective: To calculate the best possible estimates for age specific life expectancy (LE) and anticipated age at the time of death (AAD) in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) compared with the general population in the UK. These may be of greater value to patients than standardised mortality ratios (SMRs), which are usually reported in studies on mortality in PD.

Methods: A literature review identified articles with data on age stratified life expectancy or SMRs to calculate estimations of LE using the Gompertz function and data on mortality and LE in the UK from the Office of National Statistics and Actuarial Department for the year 2003.

Results: Two UK studies and four from Western Europe were used to estimate LE and AAD for patients with PD from SMRs. The mean LEs of patients with PD compared with the general population were: 38 (SD 5) years for onset between 25 and 39 years compared with 49 (SD 5) years; 21 (SD 5) years for onset between 40 and 64 years compared with 31 (SD 7) years; and 5 (SD 4) years for onset age ⩾65 years compared with 9 (SD 5) years. The average AAD of patients with PD with onset between 25 and 39 years was 71 (SD 3) years and considerably lower than that of the general population (82 (SD 2) years). The difference between average AAD for older individuals with PD (onset ⩾65 years) and the general population was smaller, with an AAD of approximately 88 (SD 7) years compared with 91 (SD 5) years.

Conclusions: The calculations showed that LE and AAD in PD are reduced for all onset ages but this reduction is greatest in individuals with a young onset. While the results are average estimates, these can provide useful indications of LE and AAD.

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  • Competing interests: GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals paid for the research for the manuscript. LI’s PhD studentship was sponsored by GSK and she is now an employee at GSK. AC is an employee of GSK.

  • Abbreviations:
    anticipated age at the time of death
    case control
    life expectancy
    standardised mortality ratio
    Parkinson’s disease