Distribution and Incidence

This disease occurs throughout the world, with no population protected against the condition. Most surveys have investigated Caucasian populations of northern European or of Anglo-Saxon descent, and few studies have been done on the occurrence of Parkinson's disease in other populations. In Caucasians the prevalence is 84 to 187 per 100,000 of population, with no geographic patterns and no clusters of increased incidence. Two studies seem to indicate a lower prevalence in blacks; this has been the clinical experience as well, probably indicating a decreased risk of Parkinson's disease for blacks. The annual incidence varies from 5 to 24 per 100,000 of the white population. These figures, of course, depend on the methods of ascertainment, the population studied, the length of time that data have been collected, and many other factors. If the prevalence is divided by the annual incidence, the average duration of the illness is approximately 10 years.

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