Association of UV radiation with Parkinson disease incidence: A nationwide French ecologic study

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Abstract

Background:

Vitamin D is thought to contribute to brain health, but it is unclear whether low vitamin D levels are associated with increased incidence of Parkinson's disease (PD). Using ultraviolet B (UV-B) as a surrogate for vitamin D levels, we conducted a nationwide ecologic study in France in order to examine the association of UV-B with PD incidence.

Methods:

We used French national drug claims databases to identify PD cases using a validated algorithm. UV-B data from the solar radiation database were derived from satellite images. We estimated PD incidence (2010–2012) at the canton level (small administrative French unit) and used multilevel Poisson regression to examine its association with UV-B (2005 annual average), after adjustment for age, sex, deprivation index, density of neurologists, smoking, proportion of agricultural land, and vitamin D supplementation.

Results:

Analyses are based on 69,010 incident PD patients. The association between UV-B and PD incidence was quadratic (P<0.001) and modified by age (P<0.001). Below 70y, incidence was higher in the bottom quintile (relative risk, RRQ1:45-49y=1.18, 95% CI=1.08–1.29) compared with the middle UV-B quintile, and lower in the top quintile (RRQ5:45-49y=0.85 [0.77–0.94]). An opposite pattern was observed in older subjects (RRQ1:85-89y=0.92 [0.89–0.96]; RRQ5:85-89y=1.06 [1.02–1.11]). Analysis based on continuous UV-B yielded similar conclusions.

Conclusions:

In this nationwide study, there was an age-dependent quadratic association between UV-B and PD incidence. This study suggests that reasonable UV-B exposure is associated with lower PD risk in younger persons and that future studies should examine dose-response relations and take age into account.

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