Department of Neurology, Helsinki University Hospital and Department of Clinical Neurosciences (Neurology), University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
| [b] Biostatistics consulting, Department of Public Health, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland
Correspondence to: Filip Scheperjans, MD, PhD, Department of Neurology, University of Helsinki, Haartmaninkatu 4, 00290 Helsinki, Finland. Tel.: +358 9 4711; Fax: +35847175794; E-mail: [email protected].
Abstract: Background:The gastrointestinal tract is considered as a potential origin of Parkinson’s disease (PD) pathology. Besides constipation, appendectomy and inflammatory bowel disease have also been associated with a higher PD-risk, but findings have been inconsistent. To date, there is only one previous study suggesting that irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is associated with an increased risk of PD. Objective:To evaluate whether IBS is associated with a higher risk of PD. Methods:In this retrospective registry-based cohort study, we identified 28,150 patients that were diagnosed with IBS (IBS+) during the years 1998–2014, using data from the Finnish Care Register for Health Care. In addition, 98,789 IBS-free reference subjects (IBS-) of same age and gender and living in the same municipality were included. The study subjects were followed until the end of the year 2014 to analyze the incidence of PD. The association between IBS and PD was assessed by a Cox proportional hazards model. Results:Diagnosis of IBS was associated with a higher hazard of PD with an adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) of 1.70 (95% CI 1.27–2.26). However, the ratio of hazard rates for PD between IBS+ and IBS- subjects was not constant over time. The Cox model with time-varying coefficient for IBS status showed that the hazard of PD was significantly higher in IBS patients only during the first two years of follow-up (aHR 2.96, 95% CI 1.78–4.92). Conclusion:Our findings indicate that the association between IBS and PD is likely explained by reverse causation and detection bias. It remains open whether IBS is an actual risk factor or a prodromal symptom of PD.