Parkinson’s Disease More Common in Younger People Than You Think? 10% Patients Diagnosed Before 50 Years of Age! 

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Here are some interesting statistics from around the world about Parkinson’s disease, a common neurological disorder that affects nearly 10mn people worldwide.

Parkinson’s disease is a brain disorder that leads to stiffness, difficulty in walking, and coordination. The symptoms begin gradually and worsen with time. There is no permanent cure for this disease. 

However, you can maintain a good quality of life by taking proper medications. Sometimes doctors recommend surgery to help alleviate symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson's Disease

Both males and females can have Parkinson’s disease, but the disease affects more men than women. The disease is more commonly found in older adults, especially above 60 years of age. 

However, it is a lesser known fact that 10 percent of the patients are diagnosed before 50 years. It’s estimated that nearly 60,000 people are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in the United States every year.

However, the exact number of people diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease is difficult to determine because many people don’t get diagnosed during the early stages of the disease. Additionally, there are no specific tests to diagnose Parkinson’s disease. So, most patients are misdiagnosed as having common symptoms of aging.

In this article, we will shed more light on some statistics about Parkinson’s disease and its prevalence.

What Causes Parkinson’s Disease?

There is an area in your brain called the basal ganglia. The nerve cells in the basal ganglia produce dopamine which controls your learning, motivation, kidney function, mood, attention, sleep, mood, heart rate, and others. 

When a person has Parkinson’s disease, the nerve cells in basal ganglia die or become impaired. So it produces less dopamine, resulting in difficulty in walking, talking, writing, and others.

You may lose another neurotransmitter called norepinephrine after you get Parkinson’s disease. The chemical norepinephrine is needed for the proper functioning of the sympathetic nervous system. It controls the autoimmune functions of your body like digestion, breathing, and blood pressure.

Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson’s Disease Worldwide

  • It is estimated that 10 million people are living with Parkinson’s disease all over the globe.1
  • The health burden of Parkinson’s disease increases rapidly in China. It is estimated that by 2030 China will have nearly 23.5-26.9 percent of the population in China will be above 65 years old 2050. Consequently, there will be the rise of neurodegenerative disease, and most probably, it will bring a significant burden on the economics and health care system in China. The researchers estimate that by 2030 Parkinson’s disease in China will increase to 4.94 million, which will be half of the Worldwide Parkinson’s disease patients.2
  • Parkinson’s disease affects 1-2 people per 1000 of the population.3
  • In 1990 the number of patient with Parkinson’s disease were 2.5 million globally, but it has risen to 6.1 million in 2016.4
  • Many data suggest that Parkinson’s disease can rise by 12-17 million people Worldwide by 2040.4
  • The prevalence of Parkinson’s disease in the U.K is 1 in 500 people. It’s estimated that almost 127,000 people are now living with Parkinson’s disease.5

Parkinson’s Disease : How Common is it in the US?

  • Nearly one million people in the United States live with Parkinson’s disease, more than the combined group of people affected with muscular dystrophy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and multiple sclerosis.5
  • Many researchers expect that there will be 1.2 million people with Parkinson’s disease by 2030.6
  • It is estimated that every year 60,000 Americans are detected with Parkinson’s disease .5
  • More than 100,000 Canadians are now living with Parkinson’s disease 5
  • Nearly 6,600 people in Canada are detected with Parkinson’s disease every year.5
Parkinson's Disease

Geographical Spread of Parkinson’s Disease in the US

  • The western and southern states of the United States have low rates of Parkinson’s disease, while the Northeast and many Midwest states have a high rate of Parkinson’s disease.10
  • Vermont has the highest rate of Parkinson’s disease, i.e., 9.9 per 10,000.10
  • Missipi and Montanna have a low rate of Parkinson’s diseases, i.e., 5.1 per 10,000.10 

Parkinson’s Disease By Gender

  • The prevalence of Parkinson’s disease is 1.5 to 2 times high in men than women.14
  • The possible reasons for Parkinson’s disease are higher in men: exposure to toxins, head trauma, mitochondrial dysfunction, neuroprotection by estrogen, and X linkage of genetic risk factors.15
  • A recent study covering 7209 Parkinson patients at 21 centers in the United States, Netherland, Canada, Israel shows that women are less likely to receive informal caregiving support, i.e., support from their friends and families. The reason for this may be because of the longer average life span of women and their inclination towards becoming a caregiver for others rather than receiving care from spouses and other family members.16

Parkinson’s Disease By Age & Ethnicity

  • Parkinson’s disease affects only one percent of the population over 60 years old, and it increases to 5 percent to adults above 85 years.11
  • Only 5 percent of people below 60 years old are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. 11
  • Parkinson’s disease is more common in whites than Blacks or Asians.11
  • The prevalence of Parkinson’s disease is 50 percent lower in blacks and Asians than whites.11
  • The prevalence of Parkinson’s disease in Hispanics is 16.6 per 100,000 persons compared to 13.6 per 100,000 in non-Hispanic whites,10.2 per 100,000 in blacks, and 11.2 per 100,000 in Asians.11
Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson’s Disease As Cause of Death in US

  • A survey was done in 2019 in the United States about the number of deaths due to Parkinson’s disease. The results showed 3,874 deaths in California due to Parkinson’s disease. Alaska had the least number of deaths, i.e., 32, in the survey period.7
  • The number of people who died from Parkinson’s disease rose from 5.4 per 100,000 people in 1999 to 8.8 per 100,000 people in 2019. Many researchers found that the mortality rate increases across all age groups, sex, and different racial and ethnic groups. However, the mortality rate was twice high in men compared to men. According to a researcher, women have estrogen hormone, which leads to increases in dopamine levels in the brain. The dopamine levels protect women from Parkinson’s disease.8
  • White people were more likely to die from Parkinson’s disease than other racial or ethnic groups.8
  • The death rate for white people was 9.7 per 100,000 people, followed by Hispanic people at 6.5 per 100,000 people and non-Hispanic black people at 4.7 per 100,000 people in 2019.8
  • A survey was done in 2019 in the United States and found that 216 people above 85 years old died from Parkinson’s disease per 100,000 population.17

Parkinson’s Disease And Pesticides

  • The agricultural areas have a high rate of Parkinson’s disease. The rate of disease in Nebraska is two to four times high in rural agricultural parts compared to urban Omaha.12
  • The risk of having Parkinson’s disease is 170 percent higher in farmers than farmers.12
  • The longer the farmers work in pesticides higher is the risk of Parkinson’s disease.12
  • Research done at San Matteo Foundation University Hospital showed that the risk of Parkinson’s disease shoots up by 33 to 80 percent when the subject is exposed to pesticides targeting weeds and insects13 
Parkinson's Disease

Cost of Treatment

  • The Federal Government spends almost $25 billion each year caring for people with Parkinson’s disease.9
  • Nearly $2 billion is on the shoulder of Social Security. The remaining $23 billion is in Medicare costs because almost 90 percent of people with Parkinson’s disease are enrolled in Medicare and receive benefits.9
  • The cost of medications alone can cost you an average of $2500 in a year.6
  • The therapeutic surgery can cost almost $1000 a person.6

How Many Parkinson’s Patients Take Medication?

  • It’s estimated that 84 percent of adults between 60-64 years take medicines to relieve symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.10
  • Eighty-seven percent of people with 50-59 years old take medicines to alleviate pain from Parkinson’s disease.10

Wrap Up

Parkinson’s disease is a physical and mentally disabled neurodegenerative disorder. The region with a large population or a large number of elderly indicates a higher rate of Parkinson’s disease.

Additionally, life expectancy and industrialization have increased worldwide. Such chronic diseases like Parkinson’s disease are expected to grow shortly. The total effect of the Parkinson’s pandemic is not inevitable but can be preventable by less exposure to pesticides, contaminated groundwater, pollution, and others.

Parkinson's Disease

I hope this article has given you a lot of information and numbers regarding Parkinson’s disease, helping you become more aware of how common this disease has become and how difficult it is to fight it.

Please don’t forget to share this article with others who might be searching for this information. If you have any queries about these statistics and information, you can ask us in the comments section below, we will be happy to answer any and all of your queries.


  1. How Common is Parkinson’s Disease?
  2. Parkinson’s disease in China: a forty-year growing track of bedside work | Translational Neurodegeneration | Full Text
  3. Epidemiology of Parkinson’s disease
  4. Increase in Parkinson’s disease cases looming; What PCPs need to know.
  5. Parkinson’s Disease Statistics
  6. Statistics | Parkinson’s Foundation• Parkinson’s disease deaths by state US 2019 | Statista
  7. Death rate from Parkinson’s rising in US, study finds — ScienceDaily
  8. Parkinson’s Disease Economic Burden on Patients, Families and the Federal Government Is $52 Billion, Doubling Previous Estimates | Parkinson’s Disease
  9. Prevalence of Parkinson’s Disease Rising in Younger Adults
  10. Risk Factors for Developing Parkinson’s Disease
  11. The Rise of Parkinson’s Disease | American Scientist
  12. Exposure to Pesticides and Solvents Increases Parkinson’s Disease Risk
  13. Gender differences in Parkinson’s disease).
  14. Are men at greater risk for Parkinson’s disease than women? | Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry
  15. Parkinson’s Disease in Women and Men: What’s the Difference? – IOS Press
  16. Parkinson’s disease death rate US by age 2019 | Statista
  17. Treatment rate for Parkinson’s disease in France 2015, by age
  18. Parkinson’s disease: individuals by age 2016 UK | Statista