Prevalence of Parkinson's disease in Korea

Woo Keun Seo, Seong Beom Koh, Byung Jo Kim, Sung Wook Yu, Mun Ho Park, Kun Woo Park, Dae Hie Lee

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    34 Citations (Scopus)


    The prevalence of neurodegenerative disorders is not well documented in Korea. We assessed the prevalence of Parkinson's disease in an elderly population in a newly industrialized city in a rural region. Subjects for this study were randomly selected from a community-based cohort study. The sample in the cohort represented approximately 1.3% (4700) of 362 625 adults (age > 18 years) listed in the city register in 1998. Among this group, 4218 subjects (1086 subjects aged > 60 years) agreed to be interviewed and underwent a physical examination and neuropsychological tests administered by a neurologist and neuropsychologist. All participants were examined. Participants who had bradykinesia and at least one other possible cardinal sign of parkinsonism at the neurologic screening, and those who reported that they had Parkinson's disease, or were taking antiparkinsonian drugs were identified. In our study, 16 subjects showed evidence of Parkinson's disease. The prevalence in this population was 0.37%. Prevalence increased with age, and prevalence was 1.47% for those aged older than 60 years. Postural instability and gait disturbance were more common in the older age group. The results of neuropsychological tests were as follows: (1) only two subjects had low scores (<20) in the Korea-version mini-mental status examination; (2) seven subjects scored 0.5, one subject scored 2 and the other eight subjects scored 0 in the clinical dementia rating. The results of our prevalence study are similar to those of studies carried out in Western countries. Age is a risk factor for Parkinson's disease in Korea.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1155-1157
    Number of pages3
    JournalJournal of Clinical Neuroscience
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - 2007 Dec


    • Korea
    • Parkinson's disease
    • Prevalence

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Surgery
    • Neurology
    • Clinical Neurology
    • Physiology (medical)


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