September 24, 2020
1 min read
Patients with Parkinson’s disease had higher rates of stroke and lower rates of CAD and vascular disease risk factors, researchers found.
“The main findings of our study are plausibly explained by the impact of low sympathetic tone on cardiovascular factors among patients with [Parkinson’s disease],” Ashraf Abugroun, MD, assistant professor in the division of general internal medicine at Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, and colleagues wrote in the study published in The American Journal of Cardiology.
Researchers analyzed data from 57,914 participants (mean age, 79 years, 42% women) from the National Inpatient Sample aged 65 years and older with Parkinson’s disease. Participants with Parkinson’s disease were frequency-matched by sex and age to controls (n = 289,570).
Outcomes of interest included hyperlipidemia, hypertension, CAD, diabetes and stroke.
Patients with Parkinson’s disease had lower odds for diabetes (adjusted OR = 0.73; 95% CI, 0.71-0.75), hyperlipidemia (aOR = 0.77; 95% CI, 0.75-0.79), CAD (aOR = 0.64; 95% CI, 0.63-0.66) and hypertension (aOR = 0.68; 95% CI, 0.67-0.7). These patients had higher odds for stroke (aOR = 1.27; 95% CI, 1.24-1.31).
Propensity score-based matched analyses resulted in identical findings.
“In [Parkinson’s disease], where generalized sympathetic denervation has widely been described, the integrity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis will also be compromised leading to blunted circadian rhythms of cortisol and catecholamines as well as lower levels of renin and aldosterone,” Abugroun and colleagues wrote. “As a result, lower blood pressures, blood glucose measurements and triglyceride levels detected in the [Parkinson’s disease] population compared to the general population, as seen in the current study are all theoretically consistent with and can be attributed to an underlying suppressed sympathetic nervous system.”