Co-morbidity and polypharmacy in Parkinson's Disease: insights from a large Scottish primary care database

Gary McLean, John V. Hindle, Bruce Guthrie, Stewart W. Mercer (Lead / Corresponding author)

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    Background: Parkinson’s disease is complicated by comorbidity and polypharmacy, but the extent and patterns of these are unclear. We describe comorbidity and polypharmacy in patients with and without Parkinson’s disease across 31 other physical, and seven mental health conditions.

    Methods: We analysed primary health-care data on 510,502 adults aged 55 and over. We generated standardised prevalence rates by age-groups, gender, and neighbourhood deprivation, then calculated age, sex and deprivation adjusted odds ratios (OR) and 95 % confidence intervals (95 % CI) for those with PD compared to those without, for the prevalence, and number of conditions.

    Results: 2,640 (0.5%) had Parkinson’s disease, of whom only 7.4% had no other conditions compared with 22.9% of controls (adjusted OR [aOR] 0.43, 95 % 0.38-0.49). The Parkinson’s group had more conditions, with the biggest difference found for seven or more conditions (PD 12.1% vs. controls 3.9%; aOR 2.08 95% CI 1.84-2.35). 12 of the 31 physical conditions and five of the seven mental health conditions were significantly more prevalent in the PD group. 44.5% with Parkinson’s disease were on five to nine repeat prescriptions compared to 24.5% of controls (aOR 1.40; 95% CI 1.28 to 1.53) and 19.2% on ten or more compared to 6.2% of controls (aOR 1.90; 95% CI 1.68 to 2.15).

    Conclusions: Parkinson’s disease is associated with substantial physical and mental co-morbidity. Polypharmacy is also a significant issue due to the complex nature of the disease and associated treatments.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number126
    Pages (from-to)1-8
    Number of pages8
    JournalBMC Neurology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Clinical Neurology


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