Sex differences in Parkinson's disease

Michal Lubomski, R Louise Rushworth, Will Lee, Kelly Bertram, David Williams

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78 Citations (Scopus)


Sex-related differences in Parkinson?s disease (PD) have been recognised, but remain poorly understood. We aimed to further clarify real-life differences in disease experience according to sex, by evaluating quality of life (QoL), demographic and clinical characteristics of PD patients. A cross-sectional survey was conducted on 210 PD patients (129 men, 81 women) attending specialist neurological clinics across three centres. Outcome measures included the motor examination of the Unified Parkinson?s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS-III) and QoL as measured by the 39-item Parkinson?s Disease Questionnaire (PDQ-39). A male to female ratio of 1.6:1 was observed. Men reported a greater disease burden than women as noted by higher UPDRS-III scores (27 ? 13 versus 23 ? 13, p = 0.032), daily levodopa equivalent doses (898.1 ? 481.3 mg versus 750.7 ? 427.2 mg, p = 0.037) and caregiver reliance (44 versus 29.5 , p = 0.039). The UPDRS-III score was significantly associated with sex after controlling for age and disease duration, with men more severely affected (b = 0.165, r2 = 0.101, p = 0.028). The PDQ-39 showed men reported lower QoL in activities of daily living (ADL), cognition and communication sub-scales (p <0.05). An association was identified in men between PDQ-39 ADL and cognition sub-scales (r = 0.660, p <0.001). Men with an appointed caregiver had a higher PDQ-39 Summary Index (t = 3.222, degrees of freedom = 122, p = 0.002). PD was found to have greater overall impact on the health and well-being of male patients in sub-specialty clinical practice. Our study further supports the need for increased sex-delineated clinical assessment and consideration of potential differences required in the management of PD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1503 - 1506
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Clinical Neuroscience
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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