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The World's Highest Prevalence of Parkinson's Disease

Thursday August 13, 2009

Viartis - The world's highest prevalence of Parkinson's Disease by far has been found among the Amish religious community, where Parkinson's Disease is two to three times more prevalent than anywhere else in the world.

The Amish are primarily in the North East of the U.S.A. They are a devoutly religious community who believe in the literal interpretation of the Bible. They segregate themselves from other communities, wear traditional clothes, and live a traditional lifestyle that does not permit the use of electricity, television, radio, or telephones.

For transport they use horses and carriages instead of cars, which they are not allowed to use. Most speak a German dialect known as Pennsylvania Dutch.

The prevalence of Parkinson's Disease amongst the Amish aged 60 or older has been found to be 5,703 per 100,000, which is enormously high. According to U.N.Data, 17% of the U.S. population is aged 60 or older. So the prevalence of Parkinson's Disease in the Amish community as a whole is 970 per 100,000.

This is by far the highest prevalence of Parkinson's Disease in the world, and around three times the prevalence of the U.S.A., despite the U.S.A having the highest prevalence of any country. For more information go to the Prevalence of Parkinson's Disease.

The Amish refuse to take out health insurance. They are also afflicted by genetic disorders. So it was thought that the cause might be genetic. However, the more closely related they were, the less they were affected. They are primarily involved in agriculture, and most of them use pesticides, but the effect of pesticides was not assessed by the researchers. For more current news go to Parkinson's Disease News.