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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 …
CHW-G and RAB are joint senior last authors.
Contributors JRE wrote the manuscript which was reviewed and revised by the other authors. JRE, GCC and DPB performed data collection for the PICNICS study, and TF, CHW-G and SLM performed data collection for the CamPAiGN Study. Data analysis was performed by JRE (PICNICS) and TF and CHW-G (CamPaiGN).
Funding Cure Parkinson’s Trust; Van Geest Foundation; Medical Research Council (RG38582); Parkinson’s UK (RG39906); National Institute of Health Research Biomedical Research Centre Award to the University of Cambridge.
Competing interests None declared.
Ethics approval Essex 2 REC and Cambridgeshire 2 REC.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data sharing statement The authors would be happy to consider collaboration and the sharing of longitudinal data with researchers working in the fields of PD natural history or biomarkers of progression in PD.