Parkinson's disease: Key figures and prevalence

One person in every 500 has Parkinson's. That's about 127,000 people in the UK.


Parkinson’s disease affects around 6.3 million people worldwide. The distribution of the disease is relatively homogeneous. Parkinson’s disease normally begins when patients are between the ages of 50 and 70, but it can occur at any age. It is the second most common cause of physical disability in the elderly, followed by strokes. It is not known why, but Parkinson’s disease affects slightly more men than women. 


Parkinson’s disease presents a public health challenge, as its incidence has increased over time due to the ageing population. Along with other neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, it is expected to overtake cancer as the second most common cause of death by the year 2040. 
The direct and indirect costs caused by Parkinson’s disease, including the costs of treatment (around 780 million euros), are considerable. The incidence and prevalence of the disease increase with age, arising in approximately 1% of people over the age of 65.

Last updated: 19/01/2017

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