Heart attacks reduce the risk of Parkinson’s

Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative pathology whose functioning mechanism remains secret to this day. Scientists and doctors are doing everything they can to get to know it better in order to offer patients who suffer from it appropriate treatments. Research against the disease has recently seen some notable advances. These include a study that concluded that there was a link between the occurrence of a heart attack and a reduced risk of Parkinson’s.

The study was carried out by a team of researchers affiliated with Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark. She therefore came to the conclusion that a person who has suffered a heart attack is less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease.

A reduction in risk, the percentage of which is estimated at 20%

The Danish researchers behind the study followed several patients for up to 21 years. Thus, between 1995 and 2016, they selected a total of 181,994 Danish patients who suffered a heart attack. They compared the results obtained against an extended control group made up of 909,970 subjects who had never had a heart attack.

The selection of the control group was made taking into account the age and sex of the main patients. It therefore finally appeared that people belonging to the control group had a 20% greater chance of developing Parkinson’s disease.

The study did not stop there. It has also expanded its analyzes to any condition with symptoms similar to Parkinson’s disease. At this stage, it also appeared that people who have had a heart attack in their lifetime have a 28% less chance of developing Parkinsonism.

Epidemiologist Jens Sundbøll who worked on the research project summarized the results obtained in a simple sentence. “The risk of Parkinson’s disease appears to be reduced in these patients, compared to the general population,” he said.

Risk factors for both diseases: the crux of the matter

This is the first time that researchers have tried to establish a link between cardiovascular disease and Parkinson’s. However, other studies have already looked into the existing correlation between certain risk factors for myocardial infarction and neurodegenerative disease.

These include smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. Each of these factors has been identified as potentially reducing the risk of Parkinson’s. This could justify the results of the Danish study. On the other hand, other factors such as age and lack of physical activity have no impact on the risk.

This study is also a step forward in the care of people who have suffered a heart attack. It should guide physicians regarding preferred care. According to Dr. Sundbøll, cardiac rehabilitation should instead focus on ischemic strokes, vascular dementia, heart failure or even a new heart attack.

Prevention of these conditions should take precedence over treatment of Parkinson’s disease.

Source: Science Alert

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