The prevalence of Parkinson's disease in an Arab population, Wadi Ara, Israel

Rafik Masalha, Ella Kordysh, Gershon Alpert, Maher Hallak, Mohammad Morad, Muhammad Mahajnah, Peter Farkas, Yuval Herishanu

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    17 Scopus citations


    Background: The prevalence of Parkinson's disease varies among ethnic and geographic groups around the world, being very low in China and high in Argentina. While the main etiology of the disease has yet to be determined, environmental, occupational and genetic factors seem to play important roles. Objectives: To estimate the prevalence of PD in an Arab Muslim population in Israel, using the drug tracer approach. Methods: We studied a Muslim Arab population living in a well-defined geographic area in Israel, with the majority located in two towns and two large villages. Of the approximately 115,000 residents, about 38% are under the age of 15 and 7.75% are older than 65. Drug tracer methodology was applied in this study. All those who were on anti-PD medication were identified and examined by a neurologist to confirm the diagnosis. Results: The overall crude prevalence of PD in this population was low, 43.24/100,000, while the prevalence in the age group above 65 years was 477.32/100,000. Below this age, the prevalence was very low, 12.29/100,000. PD prevalence was higher in males than in females (ratio 1.17); 63% of male patients smoked cigarettes. The prevalence was found to be twice as high among the residents of rural areas, where most inhabitants work in agriculture. Conclusions: The prevalence of PD among the Arab population in Israel is considered low and comparable to that reported in other Arab countries.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)32-35
    Number of pages4
    JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - 1 Jan 2010


    • Arab population
    • Drug tracer approach
    • Parkinson's disease
    • Prevalence
    • Wadi Ara

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Medicine


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