Objective: Objective: To describe an apparent cluster of PD in a golf community
Background: Golf courses may use more pesticides/acre than are employed in agriculture. Certain pesticides are recognized risk factors for PD. We were contacted by a golf community of approximately 2200 people because of a concern that PD was unusually prevalent in their community.
Method: Subjects with suspected PD and families of deceased subjects consented to an OHSU IRB approved protocol. Living subjects in the community were examined and medical records of subjects that had died or moved away were reviewed. The golf course management provided records of pesticides used on the course from 1997 to 2016. PD prevalence for age 45 or older in 2017 was estimated for the census block group using U.S. census 2010 data, standardized to the US population in 2010.
Results: Nineteen subjects developed PD after residence in the community. The age of diagnosis was 75 (62-86) and residence in the community was 16 years (2-41). Fifteen subjects lived immediately adjacent to the course, 14 were golfers, 4 walked the course for exercise and 1 had no exposure to the course. Among the multiple pesticides used on the course were three with previous associations with PD risk, Mancozeb (Maneb), 2,4 dichlorophenoxyacetate acid and manganese oxide. PD prevalence for age 45 or older was 1047/100,000 (95% Confidence intervals: 363,1731). Compared to a meta-analysis estimating PD prevalence in North America to be 572/100,000 in persons aged 45 or greater (Marras et al. 2018), the estimate for this community was much higher, although the sample is small and confidence intervals are wide and include the meta-analysis results.
Conclusion: The estimated PD prevalence was increased in this golf community. Future epidemiological studies should include golf course exposure and golfer rituals (licking the ball, etc). The goal will be to limit the exposure to golf course chemicals without reducing the benefits of exercise provided by golf.
To cite this abstract in AMA style:J. Nutt, A. Zajack, J. Sandsness, V. Palmer, C. Meng, C. Tanner, P. Spencer. An Apparent Cluster of Parkinson’s Disease (PD) in a Golf Community [abstract]. Mov Disord. 2020; 35 (suppl 1). https://www.mdsabstracts.org/abstract/an-apparent-cluster-of-parkinsons-disease-pd-in-a-golf-community/. Accessed December 5, 2023.
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