Who is affected by Parkinson's disease

It is estimated that about 1 million people in the United States (or about 4 in every 1,000) have Parkinson's disease.1 Approximately 6.3 million people are affected by Parkinson's disease worldwide.2

The number of new cases increases with age, affecting 1% of people older than 60 and up to 3% of people older than 85.3, 4

Symptoms of Parkinson's disease most often first appear during a person's 50s or 60s. The disease progresses gradually over 10 to 15 years, resulting in increasing disability. Early-onset disease (before age 30 to 40) is not common; among the total number of Parkinson's disease cases, 5% to 10% are early-onset.3

Parkinson's disease occurs more often in men than in women, but the reason for this is unknown.5


  1. DeLong MR, Juncos JL (2008). Parkinson's disease and other extrapyramidal movement disorders. In AS Fauci et al., eds., Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 17th ed., pp. 2549–2559. New York: McGraw-Hill Medical.
  2. Baker MG, Graham L (2004). The journey: Parkinson's disease. BMJ, 329(7466): 611–614.
  3. Samii A, et al. (2004). Parkinson's disease. Lancet, 363(9423): 1783–1793.
  4. Dewey RB, Jr. (2004). Management of motor complications in Parkinson's disease. Neurology, 62 (6, Suppl 4): S3–S7.
  5. Minagar A, et al. (2003). Parkinson's disease. In RW Evans, ed., Saunders Manual of Neurologic Practice, pp. 205–209. Philadelphia: Saunders.

Last Updated: December 8, 2008

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