A study published in Arthritis Care & Research has uncovered an elevated risk of Parkinson’s disease in individuals with osteoarthritis.
The retrospective study using Taiwan’s Longitudinal Health Insurance Database 2005 included 33,360 patients who were 50-64 years old and had osteoarthritis in 2002-2005. A comparison group consisted of 33,360 age- and sex- matched individuals without osteoarthritis. The osteoarthritis group had a 41% higher risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, after adjustments. Patients with knee or hip osteoarthritis appeared to have a higher risk of Parkinson’s disease than patients with non-knee and non-hip osteoarthritis or with uncategorized osteoarthritis.
Although the mechanisms behind a potential link between osteoarthritis and Parkinson’s disease are unknown, both conditions involve inflammation.
“Coexisting osteoarthritis and Parkinson’s disease can additively increase the risk of falling. Moreover, osteoarthritis-related mobility impairments may mask early motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease,” said senior author Shin-Liang Pan, MD, PhD, of National Taiwan University. “Health professionals need to be alert to the potential link between these two diseases.”