Inflammatory bowel disease and risk of Parkinson's disease in Medicare beneficiaries

Alejandra Camacho-Soto, Anat Gross, Susan Searles Nielsen, Neelendu Dey, Brad A. Racette

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Introduction: Gastrointestinal (GI) dysfunction precedes the motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD) by several years. PD patients have abnormal aggregation of intestinal α-synuclein, the accumulation of which may be promoted by inflammation. The relationship between intestinal α-synuclein aggregates and central nervous system neuropathology is unknown. Recently, we observed a possible inverse association between inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and PD as part of a predictive model of PD. Therefore, the objective of this study was to examine the relationship between PD risk and IBD and IBD-associated conditions and treatment. Methods: Using a case-control design, we identified 89,790 newly diagnosed PD cases and 118,095 population-based controls >65 years of age using comprehensive Medicare data from 2004-2009 including detailed claims data. We classified IBD using International Classification of Diseases version 9 (ICD-9) diagnosis codes. We used logistic regression to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) to evaluate the association between PD and IBD. Covariates included age, sex, race/ethnicity, smoking, Elixhauser comorbidities, and health care use. Results: PD was inversely associated with IBD overall (OR = 0.85, 95% CI 0.80–0.91) and with both Crohn's disease (OR = 0.83, 95% CI 0.74–0.93) and ulcerative colitis (OR = 0.88, 95% CI 0.82–0.96). Among beneficiaries with ≥2 ICD-9 codes for IBD, there was an inverse dose-response association between number of IBD ICD-9 codes, as a potential proxy for IBD severity, and PD (p-for-trend = 0.006). Conclusion: IBD is associated with a lower risk of developing PD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-28
Number of pages6
JournalParkinsonism and Related Disorders
StatePublished - May 2018


  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Medicare beneficiaries
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Prodromal period


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