Diabetes Linked to Parkinson’s Disease
Type 2 Diabetes May Raise Parkinson’s Disease Risk
WebMD News Archive
March 28, 2007 -- Having diabetes may increase the risk of developing
Finnish researchers have found that people with type 2 diabetes were more
than 80% more likely to be later diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease than
It’s the first major prospective study to suggest that diabetes may be a
risk factor of Parkinson’s disease, a progressive disease that causes muscle
rigidity and tremors.
Researchers say the exact nature of the relationship between diabetes and
Parkinson’s disease is unclear, but several lifestyle factors may be associated
with both disorders, such as being overweight, cigarette smoking, and lack of
“It could be hypothesized that diabetes might increase the risk of
Parkinson’s disease partly through excess body weight,” writes researcher Gang
Hu, MD, PhD, of the National Public Health Institute in Finland, and colleagues
in Diabetes Care.
Diabetes Boosts Parkinson’s Risk
In the study, researchers followed a group of more than 50,000 men and women
in Finland over a period of 18 years. During that time, 324 men and 309 women
developed Parkinson’s disease.
Researchers found people who had type 2 diabetes at the start of the study
were much more likely to be later diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
Overall, after adjusting for other possible risk factors for Parkinson’s
disease, men and women with type 2 diabetes were 83% more likely to develop
Parkinson’s disease than those without it.
Although common lifestyle factors may play a role, researchers say more
study is needed to fully understand the relationship between diabetes and