Osteoarthritis may increase risk of Parkinson’s disease, researchers find


Author: Simge Eva DoganPublished: 17 June 2021

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A clinician evaluates an older person's back pain in a doctor's office.

Researchers in Taiwan have found that osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint condition, may significantly increase the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease for older adults.

As part of the study, the researchers analysed the health records of 33,360 people living with osteoarthritis, aged between 50 and 64. They compared the records with data from a second group of 33,360 people, in the same age range, without osteoarthritis.

The results suggested that those with osteoarthritis have a 41% higher risk of being diagnosed with Parkinson’s – and that individuals with knee or hip osteoarthritis are more at risk than those with joint pain in other areas.

Shin-Liang Pan, senior author of the study, said: “Coexisting osteoarthritis and Parkinson’s disease can additively increase the risk of falling. Moreover, osteoarthritis-related mobility impairments may mask early motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Health professionals need to be alert to the potential link between these two diseases.”

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