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Research paper
Dietary cholesterol, fats and risk of Parkinson's disease in the Singapore Chinese Health Study
  1. Louis C Tan1,2,
  2. Kulthida Methawasin1,
  3. Eng-King Tan1,2,
  4. June H Tan3,
  5. Wing-Lok Au1,2,
  6. Jian-Min Yuan4,5,
  7. Woon-Puay Koh2,6
  1. 1Department of Neurology, National Neuroscience Institute, Singapore, Singapore
  2. 2Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore, Singapore, Singapore
  3. 3Department of Medicine, National University Health System, Singapore, Singapore
  4. 4Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
  5. 5Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
  6. 6Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore
  1. Correspondence to Dr Louis C Tan, Department of Neurology, National Neuroscience Institute, 11 Jalan Tan Tock Seng, Singapore 308433, Singapore; louis_tan{at}


Background Prospective studies on lipids and risk of Parkinson's disease (PD) in Asian populations are sparse. This study prospectively examined the associations between dietary cholesterol and major fatty acids, and risk of PD among the Chinese in Singapore.

Methods This study used data from the Singapore Chinese Health Study, a population-based prospective cohort of 63 257 men and women aged 45–74 years in Singapore enrolled in 1993–1998. Dietary intakes of cholesterol and fatty acids were derived from a validated semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire and the Singapore Food Composition Table. Incident PD cases were identified either through follow-up interviews or record linkage analysis with hospital discharge and PD outpatient registries.

Results After an average of 14.6 years, 218 men and 193 women in the cohort developed PD. Dietary cholesterol was associated with statistically significantly lower risk of PD in a dose–dependent manner among men after adjustment for established risk factors for PD and intakes of major fatty acids. Compared to the lowest quartile, HR (95% CI) for the highest quartile was 0.53 (95% CI 0.33 to 0.84) (P for trend=0.006). Among women, dietary monounsaturated fatty acid was inversely associated with PD risk (P for trend=0.033). Compared to the lowest quartile, HR for the highest quartile was 0.44 (95% CI 0.22 to 0.88). There was no statistically significant association between dietary saturated, n-3 and n-6 fatty acids and PD risk.

Conclusions Higher intakes of cholesterol and monounsaturated fatty acids may reduce risk of PD in men and women, respectively.


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