Article

Recreational physical activity and risk of Parkinson's disease

Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. <>
Movement Disorders (Impact Factor: 5.68). 01/2008; 23(1):69-74. DOI: 10.1002/mds.21772
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to investigate associations between recreational physical activity and Parkinson's disease (PD) risk. We prospectively followed 143,325 participants in the Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort from 1992 to 2001 (mean age at baseline = 63). Recreational physical activity was estimated at baseline from the reported number of hours per week on average spent performing light intensity activities (walking, dancing) and moderate to vigorous intensity activities (jogging/running, lap swimming, tennis/racquetball, bicycling/stationary bike, aerobics/calisthenics). Incident cases of PD (n = 413) were confirmed by treating physicians and medical record review. Relative risks (RR) were estimated using proportional hazards models, adjusting for age, gender, smoking, and other risk factors. Risk of PD declined in the highest categories of baseline recreational activity. The RR comparing the highest category of total recreational activity (men > or = 23 metabolic equivalent task-hours/week [MET-h/wk], women > or = 18.5 MET-h/wk) to no activity was 0.8 (95% CI: 0.6, 1.2; P trend = 0.07). When light activity and moderate to vigorous activity were examined separately, only the latter was found to be associated with PD risk. The RR comparing the highest category of moderate to vigorous activity (men > or = 16 MET-h/wk, women > or = 11.5 MET-h/wk) to the lowest (0 MET-h/wk) was 0.6 (95% CI: 0.4, 1.0; P trend = 0.02). These results did not differ significantly by gender. The results were similar when we excluded cases with symptom onset in the first 4 years of follow-up. Our results may be explained either by a reduction in PD risk through moderate to vigorous activity, or by decreased baseline recreational activity due to preclinical PD.

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    • "The other questions referred to the amount of time spent within a week and were coded as: None, 1-19 minutes, 20-50 minutes, 1 hour, 1.5 hours, 2-3 hours, 4-6 hours and over 7 hours. This questionnaire is similar to that used in other assessments of physical activity (Chao et al., 2004; Thacker et al., 2008). For all physical activities these measures were converted to Metabolic Equivalent of Task (MET) (Ainsworth et al., 2000; Bassett et al., 1997) and a total MET score was calculated. "
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    • "Taken together, these studies suggest that physical activity prior to neurotoxic 6-OHDA insult may provide neuroprotective benefit in terms of behavioral performance. This mirrors the results seen in human epidemiological studies, which have shown that increased physical activity decreases the risk for PD (Chen et al., 2005; Sasco et al., 1992; Thacker et al., 2008). Forced exercise has also been shown to decrease the behavioral and neurochemical deficits when implemented after a 6-OHDA lesion. "
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