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Parkinson's Disease Statistics

An Overview

About 50,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson's disease each year, with more than half a million Americans affected at any given time.

However, getting an accurate count of the number of cases may be impossible, because many people with early symptoms of Parkinson's disease assume their symptoms are the result of normal aging and do not seek help from a healthcare provider. Also, diagnosing Parkinson's disease is sometimes difficult and uncertain because other conditions may produce symptoms similar to Parkinson's. People with Parkinson's disease may be told by their healthcare provider that they have other disorders or, conversely, people with similar diseases may be initially diagnosed as having Parkinson's disease.

Parkinson's Disease Statistics Relating to Gender and Ethnicity

Parkinson's disease strikes men at a slightly higher rate than women, and it knows no social, economic, or geographic boundaries. Parkinson's disease statistics from some studies show that African Americans and Asians are less likely than whites to develop Parkinson's disease. Scientists have not been able to explain this apparent lower incidence in certain populations. It is reasonable to assume, however, that all people have a similar probability of developing the disease.

Age and Parkinson's Disease

Age clearly correlates with when Parkinson's disease symptoms appear. This is a disease of late middle age, usually affecting people over the age of 50. On average, the disease begins around the age of 60. However, some healthcare providers have reportedly noticed more cases of "early-onset" Parkinson's disease in the past several years, and some have estimated that 5 to 10 percent of them are under the age of 40.

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