Association between depression and the subsequent risk of Parkinson's disease: A meta-analysis

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Observational studies, including recent large cohort studies, have reported an association between depression and the risk of Parkinson's disease (PD); however, conclusions were inconsistent. Clarifying this relation might improve the understanding of risk factors for and the disease mechanisms in PD. Therefore, we performed a meta-analysis to examine whether depression is associated with an increased risk of PD.


A literature search in the PubMed, EMBASE, Scopus, PsycINFO and Web of Science databases was undertaken through March 2018, looking for observational studies evaluating the association between depression and the risk of PD. Pooled relative risk (RR) estimates and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using a random-effects model. Subgroup analyses and sensitivity analyses were also performed.


A random-effects meta-analysis of 5 cohort studies and 6 case-control studies demonstrated a significant positive association between depression and a subsequent risk of PD (RR, 2.20; 95% CI, 1.87–2.58), and it was consistent across subgroups. Furthermore, sensitivity analysis confirmed the stability of the results; visual examination of funnel plots and Begg's and Egger's tests showed no evidence of publication bias.


Our meta-analysis demonstrated that persons with depression exhibited an increased risk of a subsequent PD diagnosis. The pathophysiological and psychological mechanisms underlying this association are still unclear and warrant further research.

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