The number of individuals with Parkinsons disease in 15 of the worlds largest nations will double over the next generation, according to a study published in the January 30 issue of the journal Neurology. The study highlights the significant challenge facing countries with rapidly growing economies, particularly in Asia, many of which are ill prepared to meet this impending public health threat.
In recent years, a great deal of resources and energy have been focused on confronting infectious diseases such as HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis. This is highlighted by high-profile private investments in these areas by organizations such as the Gates Foundation. However, while infectious diseases have attracted the greatest attention from international donors, it is non-communicable chronic diseases, such as Parkinsons, that represent a far greater burden in terms of economic and social cost to developing nations.
University of Rochester neurologist Ray Dorsey, M.D., and a team of researchers examined the projected population growth in the five largest countries in Western Europe (France, Spain, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Italy) and the 10 most populous nations worldwide (China, India, Indonesia, the United States, Brazil, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Japan, and Russia). They then projected the prevalence of the disease by age group in each country. Their research estimates that the number of individuals with Parkinsons disease in these 15 countries will grow from 4.1 to 8.7 million by the year 2030. While the number of individuals with the disease will nearly double in the United States to 610,000, the greatest growth will occur in developing countries in Asia. By 2030, an estimated 5 million people in China will have the disease.
"The bulk of the growth in Parkinsons disease in the next 25 years will not be in the United States and Europe but in other places, namely China, where Parkinsons may not be viewed as a major public hea
Contact: Mark Michaud
University of Rochester Medical Center