INTRODUCTION: Due to demographic change, an increase in the frequency of Parkinson's disease (PD) patients is expected in the future and, thus, the identification of modifiable risk factors is urgently needed. We aimed to examine the associations of body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC) with incident PD.
METHODS: In 13 of the 23 centers of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study, a total of 734 incident cases of PD were identified between 1992 and 2012 with a mean follow-up of 12 years. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to calculate hazard ratios (HR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI). We modelled anthropometric variables as continuous and categorical exposures and performed subgroup analyses by potential effect modifiers including sex and smoking.
RESULTS: We found no association between BMI, WC and incident PD, neither among men nor among women. Among never and former smokers, BMI and waist circumference were also not associated with PD risk. For male smokers, however, we observed a statistically significant inverse association between BMI and PD risk (HR 0.51, 95%CI: 0.30, 0.84) and the opposite for women, i.e. a significant direct association of BMI (HR 1.79, 95%CI: 1.04, 3.08) and waist circumference (HR 1.64, 95%CI: 1.03, 2.61) with risk of PD.
CONCLUSION: Our data revealed no association between excess weight and PD risk but a possible interaction between anthropometry, sex and smoking.