Mortality from Parkinson's disease appears to be increasing rapidly over time globally. Between 1994 and 2019, both men and women saw a significant increase in death rates globally. Women have about 20% fewer deaths than men. The death rate (all sexes, per 100,000 population) in 1994 was 1.76 and it reached 5.67 in 2019. This study analyzed the mortality rates and trends of Parkinson's disease in Spain over a forty-year period from 1981 to 2020. The findings revealed an overall increase in mortality rates for both sexes and across different age groups, except for the 35-54 age group, which showed a decline in mortality since the 1990s but increased again in 2020. Mortality rates were consistently higher in men than women, regardless of age group.
The study's results are consistent with previous literature reporting increased Parkinson's disease mortality rates worldwide, including in countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, and Italy.
The researchers obtained mortality data from the Spanish National Statistics Institute and used death certificates coded with the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) to identify cases of Parkinson's disease mortality. They excluded cases of dementia with Parkinsonism to focus only on primary Parkinson's disease.
The study employed statistical analyses such as standardized mortality rates, joinpoint analysis, and age-period-cohort modeling to examine the data. The age-period-cohort analysis revealed age and period effects on mortality, but no significant effect of the birth cohort was observed.
The analysis also included a calculation of potential years of life lost (PYLL) to assess premature mortality associated with Parkinson's disease. The results showed a reduction in life expectancy, with higher potential years of life lost in males.
The study highlighted the need for enhanced health measures to manage Parkinson's disease, given the significant increase in mortality rates observed during the study period. It also emphasized the importance of identifying risk factors and implementing healthcare programs to improve the survival of individuals with Parkinson's disease.
The study's strengths include its extensive study period, use of the age-period-cohort model, and reliance on a national mortality register for reliable data. However, limitations were noted, such as the inability of the APC methods to explain the reasons behind changes in mortality trends and potential biases associated with death certificates and diagnosis practices.
In conclusion, this study provided insights into Parkinson's disease mortality rates and trends in the Spanish population over four decades. The findings contribute to the understanding of the disease's impact and highlight the need for improved healthcare strategies to address Parkinson's disease mortality.
Yet it would be interesting to have post-COVID studies on this topic.