Dementia Decreases Parkinson's Survival Rate
Parkinson’s patients who suffered from dementia before their diagnosis are more likely to die from the disease than those who don’t exhibit signs of cognitive decline, a new U.S. study shows. According to HealthDay News, researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine found that 64 percent of observed patients with dementia died from Parkinson’s during a six-year period.
To reach their conclusions, the team looked at the medical records of 138,000 Parkinson’s patients from across the United States who were Medicare beneficiaries between 2002 and 2008. Of those who died with dementia, 70 percent developed the condition within the six-year period.
The rate of dementia was found to differ among patients along racial lines, HealthDay said. Black Parkinson’s patients developed dementia the most often, at a rate of more than 78 percent. Hispanics followed, with 73 percent of patients developing dementia. Seventy-three percent of white patients developed dementia, and Asian patients had the lowest rate of 67 percent.
Patients with both dementia and Parkinson’s were significantly less likely to survive overall, the study showed.
The team also found that men were more likely to die from Parkinson’s, as were black patients and white patients. By contrast, women, Hispanics and Asians had lower death rates.
“We demonstrate that dementia occurs commonly in patients with incident [Parkinson’s disease] 65 years and older; this had the strongest effect on age-adjusted survival among the variables that we studied,” the authors wrote in a press release. “Our data highlight the need for prevention of, or treatment, for dementia in patients with PD because of its effect on survival.”
The study was published in the January issue of the Archives of Neurology.