PREVALENCE OF PARKINSON'S DISEASE
WORLD'S HIGHEST PREVALENCE
China is the country with the world's greatest number of people with Parkinson's Disease. In China there are probably more than 1.7 million people who have Parkinson's Disease.
The world's highest prevalence of Parkinson's Disease is along the River Nile in Egypt, south of Cairo, amongst illiterate Egyptians in rural areas. They have a prevalence rate of 1,103 per 100,000. The high prevalence of Parkinson's Disease is probably related to poverty rather than illiteracy. In some of the villages south of Cairo there are only mud roads and open sewers. Egypt is the country with the third highest prevalence of Parkinson's Disease in the world.
The world's second highest prevalence of Parkinson's Disease by far has been found among the devoutly religious Amish community, which is primarily in the North East of the U.S.A.. They believe in the literal interpretation of the Bible. The prevalence of Parkinson's Disease amongst the Amish community is 970 per 100,000. They are afflicted by genetic disorders. So it was thought that the cause might be genetic. However, the more closely related they were, the less they were affected.
The world's highest prevalence of Parkinson's Disease of any country in the world is Albania. The prevalence figures for Parkinsonism in Albania were found to be 800 per 100,000. Parkinsonism includes some other medical disorders. So the Albanian figure for only Parkinson's Disease would be lower, but would still be higher than any other country. The prevalence of neurological disorders in Albania was found to be high generally, but the reason remains unexplained.
The world's next highest prevalence of
Parkinson's Disease is in the vicinities of ferromanganese plants near
Brescia in Italy, with 407 people per 100,000 population. Manganese
concentrations in settled dust were found to be significantly higher in the
surroundings and downwind from the ferromanganese plants. In high
concentrations, manganese is a known cause of Parkinson's Disease.
The Parsi of Mumbai, India have a prevalence of Parkinson's Disease of 328 per 100,000 population. The Parsi practice Zoroastrianism, a religion based on the teachings of Zoroaster. As part of their religion, the Parsis burn Aspand seeds to rid their children of the Evil Eye. The fumes are often inhaled. Aspand seed is the richest natural source of harmine and harmaline, which are types of drugs known as MAO Inhibitors, which are used in Parkinson's Disease.
WORLD'S LOWEST PREVALENCE
Ethiopia has the world's lowest recorded prevalence of Parkinson's Disease. At a rate of only 7 per 100,000 it is far below the world's highest prevalence rates. As Parkinson's Disease tends to be more common in older people, the very low prevalence in Ethiopia may result from the very low life expectancy in Ethiopia. Few prevalence studies have been carried out in African countries. For most African countries the figures are not known. If they were, other countries in the same region as Ethiopia, or even in other parts of Africa may produce even lower prevalence figures than those of Ethiopia.
PREVALENCE BY COUNTRY
The prevalence for each country per 100,000 of
population, in those countries in which it is known, from highest to lowest
is : Albania 800, China 797-16, Egypt 557-213, France 410-308, U.S.A.
329-107, Canada 317-125, Italy 294-104, Iran 285, Navajo Indians 261, Israel
256, Faeroe Islands 206-183, Turkey 202, Japan 192-76, San Marino 185,
Germany 183, Finland 166-120, Bulgaria 164-137, Estonia 152, Taiwan 147,
Australia 146-104, England 142-121, Wales 142, Portugal 135, Cuba 135,
Scotland 129-103, Spain 122, Norway 102, Thailand 95, Sweden 76, New Zealand
76, Nigeria 67, Poland 66, Jordan 59, India 52, Bolivia 50, Israel (muslims)
43, Libya 31, Colombia 31, Sub Saharan Africa 20-7, Korea 19, Ethiopia 7.
The rate at which people with Parkinson's Disease are newly diagnosed differs greatly according to the country. The incidence for each country, in which it is known, per 100,000 of population per year, from highest to lowest is : France 49-36, Navajo Indians 35.9, Argentina 31.2, Taiwan 28, Italy 23-10, Sweden 22.5-7.9, Faeroe Islands 21.1, U.S.A. 20.5-13.0, Japan 16.9 - 10.2, Estonia 16.8, Finland 16.6-14.9, Scotland 16.0-14.6, Norway 12.6, England 12, Bulgaria 11.6, Netherlands 11.5, Russia 9.0, China 8.7-1.5, India 5.7, Libya 4.5.
Parkinson's Disease can occur at any age. The first case of Juvenile Parkinson's Disease was a 3 year old child who had all the clinical features of Parkinson's Disease. However, it is very uncommon for people under the age of 30 to develop Parkinson's Disease. Parkinson's Disease usually occurs when people are significantly older than that and becomes increasingly more common with age. The average age at which symptoms usually begin differs from county to country. The likelihood of Parkinson's Disease increases sharply at the age of 60, and peaks in those aged 85 to 89 years old. The likelihood of developing Parkinson's Disease starts to decline at 90 years of age, and reduces even further after that.
There are more men than women with Parkinson's Disease. However, the ratio of males to females who have Parkinson's Disease differs a lot according to the country. In Nigeria there are far more men than women who have Parkinson's Disease. In Japan more women than men have Parkinson's Disease. The ratio of males to females, in those countries in which it is known, from highest to lowest is : Nigeria 3.3, Spain 2.55-2.06, Taiwan 2.4, U.S.A. 1.91-1.0, Scotland 1.9, Finland 1.7, Egypt 1.7, Iran 1.62, Norway 1.58-1.35, Canada 1.56-1.16, Netherlands 1.54, France 1.48-1.4, China (Uygurs) 1.31, Argentina 1.31-1.0, China 1.29, Israel (muslims) 1.17, Portugal 1.08, Italy 1.06-0.98, San Marino 1.02, Sweden >1.0, Netherlands 1.00-0.92, Estonia <1.0, Finland <1.0, Russia 0.87, Japan 0.71-0.67.
Racial differences are best assessed in the same
country in order to nullify other factors. In the U.S.A., the proneness to
Parkinson's Disease was highest amongst whites, with an incidence of 45 per
100,000. Latinos were the next most prone with an incidence of 40 per
100,000. Least prone of all were African-Americans with an incidence of only
23 per 100,000. This gave African-Americans only a 43% chance of being
diagnosed in comparison to whites. Even after adjusting for all possible
factors, African-Americans still had less than half the likelihood of
developing Parkinson's Disease. The reason for this racial difference in
Parkinson's Disease is unknown. Observed racial differences in the incidence
of Parkinson's Disease are not explained at all by differences in age, sex,
income, insurance or healthcare utilization.
Parkinson's Disease was found to be far more common amongst welders. Prevalence was also significantly higher amongst physicians, dentists, teachers, lawyers, scientists, and religion-related jobs. Computer programmers had a younger age at diagnosis, and risk of diagnosis. Clerical occupations were also positively associated with Parkinson's Disease. Agricultural workers were more prone to Parkinson's Disease than people who were involved in hunting and forestry. People involved in manufacturing and transportation were less likely to develop Parkinson's Disease. The lowest risk of Parkinson's Disease, which is only 14% of normal, is in men with an artistic occupation late in life. Being an artist as a first occupation made the likelihood of developing Parkinson's Disease 72% less likely.