Main Article Content
Parkinson’s disease, Parkinsonism, prevalence, epidemiology, occurrence
Introduction. Parkinson's disease (PD) is a common disease of unknown etiology. Even though accurate information on the epidemiology of PD is critical for defining appropriate health policies, epidemiological data on Parkinson’s disease (PD) in Italy are often defined as scant or conflicting. Our study attempted to provide an overview on the prevalence of (PD) by means of a systematic review and metanalysis of existing data.
Material and methods. We searched into two different databases (PubMed and EMBASE), focusing on studies reporting the prevalence of PD in Italy. Data were extracted using a standardized assessment form, and results of such analyses were systematically reported, summarized and compared.
Results. A total of 16 studies were eventually included in the analyses, with a prevalence rate of 193.7/100,000. Available reports were heterogeneous both in design and in eventual figures, and also prevalence estimates were affected by substantial heterogeneity. Interestingly, prevalence rates ranged from 37.8/100,000 inhabitants in subjects aged 0 to 64 years, to 578.7 in age group 65 to 75 years, and 1235.7 in age group 75 years or older. PD was significantly associated with male sex, but only in older age groups (i.e. Odds Ratio, OR 1.37 95%CI 1.22-1.53, and OR 1.31, 95%CI 1.21-1.42 for age groups 65-74 years and 75 years or more, respectively).
Discussion and conclusion. While the observed variations in prevalence rates may result from environmental or genetic factors, differences in methodologies for case ascertainment and diagnostic criteria may have significantly affected our estimates. As a consequence, the comparability of existing studies is limited.
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