Parkinson's Disease Facts and Statistics

7 Things You Should Know About Parkinson's
  1. How many people in the U.S. have Parkinson's disease?
    In the U.S., at least 500,000 people are believed to suffer from Parkinson's disease, and about 50,000 new cases are reported every year.1

  2. Who is more likely to get Parkinson's disease -- women or men?
    PD is slightly more common in men.2

  3. What's the average age when Parkinson's disease starts?
    The average age of onset for all people with Parkinson's disease is 60.3,4

  4. How old are people with early-onset Parkinson's disease?
    It's rare for people under age 40 to suffer from the disease. Five to 10 percent of people with Parkinson's disease are under 50.3,4

  5. What causes Parkinson's disease?
    The cause of Parkinson's is unknown, but an estimated 15 to 25 percent of people with the disease have a family member who also had it, so there is some thought that it could be partially genetic. People with a family member who has Parkinson's but who do not have the disease themselves have only a 2 to 5 percent chance of getting it -- unless their family has a known genetic mutation for Parkinson's.4

  6. Are there other diseases that seem like Parkinson's but aren't Parkinson's?
    Not every person who exhibits signs of Parkinson's disease actually has it. Twenty to 25 percent of people diagnosed with Parkinson's disease will eventually be discovered to have another form of parkinsonism, which looks like the disease at first but does not act like it over time.5

  7. What is the economic impact of Parkinson's in the U.S.?
    The economic burden of Parkinson's disease on patients and their families in the U.S. is estimated to be $14.4 billion ($8.1 billion in medical expenses and $6.3 billion indirect costs).6

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1. "Parkinson's Disease Backgrounder." National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Accessed 3/14/2013.
2. "What Is Parkinson's Disease?" Parkinson's Disease Foundation. Accessed March 14, 2013.
3. "Parkinson's Diagnosis Questions." The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. Accessed March 14, 2013.
4. "Parkinson's Disease." NIHSeniorHealth. Accessed March 14, 2013.
5. "Maryland Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Center." University of Maryland Medical Center. Last updated September 2010.
6. "NPF Statement on the Economic Burden of Parkinson's Disease." National Parkinson Foundation. Accessed February 21, 2013.