The association between chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and Parkinson’s disease: a nationwide population-based retrospective cohort study

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Objective: Previous research has shown that patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) tend to have a higher risk for cognitive impairment and dementia, a neurodegenerative disorder. The goal of this study was to examine what relationship, if any, exists between COPD and Parkinson’s disease (PD), which is also a neurodegenerative disorder.

Method: Our study analyzed medical data from the population of Taiwan from 1998 to 2008, with a follow-up period extending to the end of 2010. We identified patients with COPD by the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD). We selected a comparison cohort from the general population that was random frequency-matched by age (in 5-year increments), sex and index year, and further analyzed the risk of PD using Cox’s regression model, including sex, age and comorbidities.

Results: The study enrolled 20 728 COPD patients (71.1% male, mean age = 68.2 years) and 41 147 controls. The risk of developing PD was 1.37 times greater in patients with COPD compared with patients without COPD after adjusting for age, sex and comorbidities. A significantly increased risk of PD was also found in patients with COPD who had any comorbidity other than diabetes.

Conclusion: This nationwide retrospective cohort study demonstrates that PD risk is significantly increased in patients with COPD compared with those of the general population.

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