TUESDAY, Nov. 6, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Patients with idiopathic parkinsonism have reduced survival, although survival is dependent on the type and characteristics of the parkinsonian disorder, according to a study published online Oct. 31 in Neurology.

David Bäckström, M.D., from Umeå University in Sweden, and colleagues examined mortality and associated risk factors among 182 patients with new-onset, idiopathic parkinsonism diagnosed from January 2004 through April 2009. Patients were followed prospectively for up to 13.5 years. Overall, 109 patients died during follow-up.

The researchers found that for all patients, the standardized mortality ratio was 1.84. The highest mortality was seen for patients with atypical parkinsonism (multiple system atrophy or progressive supranuclear palsy). Mild cognitive impairment diagnosis, freezing of gait, hyposmia, reduced dopamine transporter activity in the caudate, and elevated leukocytes in the cerebrospinal fluid were significantly associated with shorter survival in early Parkinson’s disease.

“Mortality was not increased in patients with Parkinson’s disease who did not have cognitive impairment at study entry,” the authors write. “The present study shows that patients with incident parkinsonism have reduced survival but that the survival is highly dependent on the type and characteristics of the parkinsonian disorder.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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