Hospital Mortality in Parkinson’s Disease: Retrospective Analysis in a Portuguese Tertiary Centre

Joana Martins, Adriana Rua, Nuno Vila Chã


Introduction: Parkinson’s disease is associated with high hospital mortality. Male gender, late age at onset, higher disability and the coexistence of cognitive impairment or depression have been suggested to be risk factors of death. Pneumonia and cardiovascular diseases are the leading causes of death.
Objective: To characterize the mortality (causes of hospital admission and death) of Parkinson’s disease patients in a tertiary hospital, as well as demographic and clinical characteristics.
Material and Methods: Identification of hospital admissions of Parkinson’s disease patients that resulted in inpatient death between 2008 and 2014. Retrospective review of medical files and inclusion of patients with disease clinically confirmed by a neurologist. Assessment of causes of death and demographic and clinical characteristics of patients.
Results: 1525 hospital admissions of Parkinson’s disease patients were identified, of which 150 resulted in death. Of these, 52 patients met the inclusion criteria. Mean age at onset of Parkinson’s disease symptoms was 66.8 years (± 8.7) and mean duration of disease was 12.5 years (± 7.9). Sixty-five percent of patients were in stages 4-5 of the Hoehn and Yahr scale. Thirty-three patients (63%) had dementia and eleven (21%) had depression. Infections were the leading cause of death (respiratory in 63% of cases).
Discussion: Similarly to literature, pneumonia was the leading cause of hospital death and most patients presented advanced disease stage and dementia. Contrarily to other studies, life expectancy was not reduced and cardiovascular diseases and trauma were not causes of death in our population.
Conclusions: This is the first Portuguese mortality study in Parkinson’s disease. Pneumonia is the leading cause of death. Advanced disease stage and dementia were common features in these patients.


Hospital Mortality; Hospitalization; Parkinson Disease/mortality; Portugal.

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