Diabetes Linked to Significant Increased Risk for Parkinson’s Disease

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By : Suvarna Sheth

Men and women with type 2 diabetes have a significantly increased chance of developing Parkinson’s disease later in life, a major British study suggests.

The study, involving a record eight million people, found that the risk of type 2 diabetes patients developing Parkinson’s disease increased by 32 percent.

Dr. Thomas T. Warner, professor of clinical neurology with the University College London Institute of Neurology and one of the authors of the study, conclude the results of the study do not point to any causative factors to the increased Parkinson’s risk.

However, Warner and his team cite two possible reasons for the link between diabetes and Parkinsons:

“These findings may reflect shared genetic predisposition,” they state in their conclusions.  They also point out, there may be “disrupted or shared pathways with potential clinical and therapeutic implications.”

The researchers found the risk of developing Parkinson’s was even greater among younger patients between the ages of 25-44, who had a four times greater risk, according to the report.

Warner and his team published their study last week in the American Academy of Neurology’s journal, Neurology.

For their study, researchers used English national Hospital Episode Statistics and mortality data from 1999–2011 to identify 2 million newly diagnosed British-diabetes-patients.

The group was compared to 6 million British patients with non-diabetes related issues.  Warner and his team found that just over 14,000 of the 2 million in the diabetes cohort were later diagnosed with Parkinson’s, compared with about 21,000 of the 6 million in the other group.


  1. Eduardo De Pablo-Fernandez, Raph Goldacre, Julia Pakpoor, Alastair J. Noyce, Thomas T. Warner. (2018, June, 13).  “Association between diabetes and subsequent Parkinson disease.” Retrieved June 18, 2018, from http://n.neurology.org/content/early/2018/06/13/WNL.0000000000005771.