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Health Indicator Report of Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson's Disease (PD) is a progressive neurological brain disorder that affects movement. It is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer's disease. PD belongs to a group of conditions called motor system disorders, which are the result of a loss of dopamine-producing brain cells. The four primary symptoms of PD are tremor, rigidity/stiffness, bradykinesia (slowness of movement) and postural instability. Early symptoms of PD are subtle and occur gradually. As symptoms become more severe, carrying out activities of daily life can become difficult. PD usually affects people over the age of 60 however, younger onset of the disease can occur. Other symptoms may include depression, anxiety; difficulty swallowing, chewing, and speaking; urinary problems or constipation; skin problems; and sleep disruptions. There are currently no blood or laboratory tests used to diagnose PD, diagnosis is based on medical history and a neurological examination. The disease can be difficult to diagnose accurately. Doctors may sometimes request brain scans or laboratory tests in order to rule out other diseases (National Institutes of Health). The combined direct and indirect cost of Parkinson's, including treatment, social security payments and lost income, is estimated to be nearly $25 billion per year in the United States alone. Medications alone cost an average of $2,500 a year and therapeutic surgery can cost up to $100,000 per person (Parkinson's Foundation).

Parkinson's Disease Age-adjusted Mortality by Year, Utah and U.S., 1999-2016


Parkinson's disease cause of death ICD 10 codes G20-G21.[[br]] Rates are age-adjusted to the U.S. 2000 standard population.

Data Sources

  • Utah Death Certificate Database, Office of Vital Records and Statistics, Utah Department of Health
  • Population Estimates: National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) through a collaborative agreement with the U.S. Census Bureau, IBIS Version 2016
  • U.S. Underlying Cause of Death Data: WONDER Online Database. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Accessed at []


Utah residents who have been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease


__Parkinson's Hospitalizations__: Number of hospitalizations among Utah Residents due to Parkinson's Disease (ICD9 code 332; ICD10 codes G20-G21) __Parkinson's Mortality__: Number of deaths among Utah residents due to Parkinson's Disease (ICD10 codes G20-G21) __Parkinson's Registry__: Number of Utah Residents with the characteristic of interest


Total number of persons in the population of Utah.

How Are We Doing?

Approximately 5,000 Utahns have PD (Parkinson's Foundation). In 2016 the age-adjusted death rate in Utah was 12.0 per 100,000 people (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

About one million Americans live with Parkinson's disease (PD). Approximately 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with PD each year. Incidence of Parkinson's disease increases with age, but an estimated four percent of people with PD are diagnosed before age 50 (Parkinson's Foundation). The 2016 age-adjusted death rate for the United States was 8.0 per 100,000 people (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

What Is Being Done?

Utah has established the Utah Parkinson's Disease Registry to improve knowledge about the causes and treatment of PD. Collecting and analyzing this information in an entire state will provide important clues about potential causes of the disease, as well as help to ensure that adequate health care resources are available for all patients. A Parkinson's Disease Registry State Advisory Committee -- a collaboration of the Utah Department of Health, University of Utah Department of Neurology, individuals with PD, and other health care providers -- has been established to develop a state plan to guide the development of the registry. The University of Utah Department of Neurology sponsors the Mountain West Parkinson?s Initiative (MWPI) to provide help and resources for those dealing with PD. The mission of the MWPI is: Passionately supporting people impacted by Parkinson Disease by cultivating community, advocating wellness, enriching education, and strengthening outreach. The MWPI serves the Mountain West region.

Evidence-based Practices

There is no cure for PD but drug therapy and surgery options can alleviate PD symptoms. Regular aerobic exercise slows the progression of PD. Levodopa is the most effective treatment for Parkinson disease; it is used to treat motor symptoms. This medication is taken orally and travels to the brain. When it crosses the blood-brain barrier it is converted to dopamine. There are a variety of other medications that are used to treat motor systems related to PD based of the effectiveness for the individual (Connolly & Lang). Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is the most commonly performed surgical treatment for Parkinson's. In DBS surgery, thin wires called electrodes are placed into one or both sides of the brain in specific areas that control movement. DBS typically works best to lessen motor symptoms like stiffness, slowness and tremor (Michael J. Fox Parkinson's Foundation). In addition to medications and surgical options, other important interventions can benefit individuals with PD. PD patients will have better outcomes if treated by a neurologist; a neurologist specializes in disorders of the central nervous system (Willis, et al.). Regular aerobic-type exercise leading to overall fitness has compelling evidence for slowing of PD progression. There are many programs available such as Rock Steady Boxing (Combs, et al.), Dance for PD (Dance for PD), and LSVT Big and Loud Therapy (Salgado, et al.). All patients with PD should be encouraged to engage in regular exercise (Ahlskog).

Available Services

Mountain West Parkinson Initiative[[br]] []

Health Program Information

The Utah Chapter of the American Parkinson's Disease Association holds an annual symposium every fall. All people with the condition and caregivers are invited to attend the symposium to hear about the latest medical care from expert speakers. The Utah Chapter has also established support groups throughout the state.
Page Content Updated On 05/23/2018, Published on 05/25/2018
The information provided above is from the Department of Health's Center for Health Data IBIS-PH web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Mon, 10 December 2018 21:33:49 from Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Fri, 25 May 2018 14:30:33 MDT