Document Title

Associations Between Cancer and Parkinson's Disease in U.S. Elderly Adults


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BACKGROUND: Several studies suggest that cancer is reduced before and after a Parkinson's disease (PD) diagnosis. However, determining relationships among diseases of ageing is challenging due to possible biases in ascertaining disease. This study evaluates the PD and cancer relationship, addressing potential biases.

METHODS: Using Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare linked data (1992-2005) of adults ≥ 65 years, we assessed PD risk after cancer comparing PD in 743 779 cancer patients with PD in a non-cancer group (n = 419 432) in prospective cohort analyses. We also conducted a case-control study of 836 947 cancer cases and 142 869 controls to assess cancer following PD. We applied Cox proportional hazards models to estimate hazards ratios (HRs) for PD after cancer and unconditional logistic regression to estimate odds ratios (ORs) for PD preceding cancer, controlling for physician visits and other factors. To explore biases in ascertaining cancer, we examined relationships between cancer and automobile accident injuries, which we expected to be null.

RESULTS: No association was observed between cancer and subsequent PD [HR = 0.97; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.92-1.01] nor between cancer and subsequent automobile injuries (HR = 1.03; 95% CI = 0.98-1.07). One site, lung cancer, was associated with subsequent reduced PD, which may reflect confounding by smoking. In the case-control analysis, PD was associated with reduced subsequent cancer, overall (OR = 0.77; 95% CI = 0.71-0.82) and for several cancer sites. However, the automobile injury/ subsequent cancer association was similar (OR = 0.83; 95% CI = 0.78-0.88), suggesting a cancer detection bias after serious health outcomes.

CONCLUSIONS: In totality, our data do not support a biological relationship between PD and cancer.

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International Journal of Epidemiology

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