(HealthDay News) — In women, a higher physical activity (PA) level is associated with a lower incidence of Parkinson’s disease (PD), according to a study published online May 17 in Neurology.

Berta Portugal, PhD, from the University of Paris-Saclay in France, and colleagues examined the association between time-varying PA and PD using lagged analyses to address the potential for reverse causation. Data were obtained from the E3N cohort study of women affiliated with a national health insurance plan (1990 to 2018).

During the follow-up period, PA was self-reported in six questionnaires. A time-varying latent PA (LPA) variable was created as questions changed across questionnaires. Differences in LPA trajectories were examined, and the association between time-varying LPA and PD incidence was estimated.

The researchers found that among 1,196 cases and 23,879 controls, analyses of trajectories showed that LPA was significantly lower in cases than controls throughout follow-up, including 29 years before diagnosis; about 10 years before diagnosis, the difference between cases and controls started to increase.

In the main survival analysis involving 95,354 women free of PD in 2000, 1,074 developed PD over 17.2 years of follow-up. The incidence of PD decreased with increasing LPA (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.75 for highest versus lowest quartile). Similar conclusions were observed using longer lags.

“Our results support the creation of exercise programs to help lower the risk of Parkinson’s disease,” a coauthor said in a statement.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

Abstract/Full Text

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