Familial aggregation of Parkinson's disease: A population-based case- control study in Europe

A. Elbaz, F. Grigoletto, M. Baldereschi, M. M. Breteler, J. M. Manubens-Bertran, S. Lopez-Pousa, J. F. Dartigues, A. Alpérovitch, C. Tzourio, W. A. Rocca

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132 Scopus citations


Objective: To investigate the familial aggregation of PD in a large collaborative population-based case-control study. Background: Most previous case-control studies of the familial aggregation of PD have been hospital- or clinic-based. Methods: We included 219 prevalent cases ascertained in three European populations (centers), using a two-phase design consisting of screening and examination by a neurologist. Each case was matched by age, sex, and center to three controls drawn from the same populations (n = 657). Presence of PD among first-degree relatives (parents and siblings) was determined using the family history approach for 175 cases and 481 controls. Results: Overall, a positive family history (at least one parent or sibling affected by PD) was reported in 10.3% of patients and 3.5% of controls (odds ratio [OR] = 3.2; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.6 to 6.6). A similar association was observed when analyses were restricted to nondemented patients and controls (OR = 3.9; 95% CI = 1.7 to 8.7) or to newly diagnosed patients (OR = 3.3; 95% CI = 0.9 to 11.9). We found a significant trend of increasing risk with increasing number of affected relatives (p = 0.003). Analyses stratified by age showed a stronger association for younger PD patients (OR = 7.6; 95% CI = 1.5 to 38.9) than for older patients (OR = 2.5; 95% CI = 1.1 to 5.7). Conclusions: In this large sample of prevalent PD patients and population-matched controls, PD significantly aggregates in families, with the strength of the association being age-dependent. Therefore, familial factors, which can be genetic, environmental, or both, play a role in PD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1876-1882
Number of pages7
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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