A new study has found further evidence of a link between people who have diabetes and a greater risk of Parkinson’s disease, although the risk remains low.
The research, which examined the health insurance claims of over a million Taiwanese adults, 600,000 of which suffered from diabetes, and was published in the journal Diabetes Care, showed that diabetics, particularly those of a relatively young age, are more at risk from the disorder, where brain cells that control movement slowly become disabled or die.
Over the course of nine years, the diabetics in the study were revealed to be more likely to be diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, at a rate of 3.6 cases per 10,000 people per annum, as opposed to the 2.1 per 10,000 for those without diabetes. For women that were in their 40s and 50s, the ones with diabetes faced double the risk of Parkinson’s than those without diabetes.
However, the average age of people that develop Parkinson’s is around 60, and although there is still no direct proof that diabetes increases the risk of Parkinson’s, it is believed that both share a few common underlying causes.
The report said “Our findings tend to suggest a relationship between diabetes and early-onset Parkinson’s disease.” But it also admitted “Because our study was based on claims data, it lacks information on some of the known risk factors for Parkinson’s disease, such as pesticide exposure.”

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