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Risk factors for progressive supranuclear palsy: a case-control study in France


Background: The risk factors of progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), a rare but severe Parkinsonian syndrome, are poorly known.

Objective: To study the risk factors of PSP in a case control study among French patients.

Method: The study was conducted between April 2000 and December 2003. Cases were in- or outpatients of five large hospitals and fulfilled the Golbe criteria. Controls were relatives of patients from the same hospitals, free of Parkinsonian syndrome and dementia, and matched to cases for age, gender and living area. Data on demographic characteristics, occupation history, diet habits, anti-inflammatory drugs use, alcohol consumption, smoking habits, gardening and leisure activities, and exposure to pesticides were collected through a face-to-face questionnaire. A conditional logistic regression was used to analyse matched data and estimate OR.

Results: 79 cases and 79 controls were included. Only a few comparisons were significant. Cases reached a lower education attainment than controls (odds ratio (OR) = 2.6 (1.3 to 5.3), p = 0.01). Analysis of diet habits did not show any major difference although cases ate meat or poultry more frequently. Conversely, controls ate fruits more frequently than did cases. No association was found between PSP and occupation, use of pesticides, gardening, alcohol consumption, smoking habits and anti-inflammatory agent use.

Conclusion: In this case-control study, we did not find any strong environmental risk factors for PSP.

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