Background: Previous studies suggest that welders frequently display parkinsonian signs, such as bradykinesia and tremor. Demonstrating that these parkinsonian findings are associated with reductions in quality of life (QoL) or health status could have important repercussions for worker safety and performance. Methods: Subjects included 394 active workers exposed to welding fumes and evaluated for parkinsonism by movement disorders experts in a worksite-based epidemiology study. Subjects were diagnosed with parkinsonism if the Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale motor subsection part 3 (UPDRS3) score was ≥15. All subjects completed a Parkinson's disease (PD) symptom questionnaire and the PDQ39, a widely used QoL and health status measure for PD. Results: Total PDQ39 score and all subscores were greater in welders with parkinsonism than welders without parkinsonism, with the most significant differences observed for mobility, emotional well-being, and activities of daily living (ADL's). The PDQ39 scores for welding exposed workers with parkinsonism were similar to scores seen in a group of early PD patients. Conclusion: Parkinsonism in active, welding exposed workers is associated with reductions in health status and QoL affecting a broad range of categories and within the range seen in early PD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)672-676
Number of pages5
JournalParkinsonism and Related Disorders
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 2011


  • Health status
  • Parkinson disease
  • Parkinsonism
  • Quality of life
  • Welding


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