Risk of Hospitalization and Death for COVID-19 in People with Parkinson's Disease or Parkinsonism

ParkLink Bologna group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: The risk of COVID-19 and related death in people with Parkinson's disease or parkinsonism is uncertain. The aim of the study was to assess the risk of hospitalization for COVID-19 and death in a cohort of patients with Parkinson's disease or parkinsonism compared with a control population cohort, during the epidemic bout (March-May 2020) in Bologna, northern Italy.

METHODS: Participants of the ParkLink study with the clinical diagnosis of Parkinson's disease or parkinsonism and people anonymously matched (ratio 1:10) for sex, age, district, and Charlson Index were included. The hospital admission rate for COVID-19 (February 26-May 31, 2020) and the death rate for any cause were the outcomes of interest.

RESULTS: The ParkLink cohort included 696 subjects with Parkinson's disease and 184 with parkinsonism, and the control cohort had 8590 subjects. The 3-month hospitalization rate for COVID-19 was 0.6% in Parkinson's disease, 3.3% in parkinsonism, and 0.7% in controls. The adjusted hazard ratio (age, sex, district, Charlson Index) was 0.8 (95% CI, 0.3-2.3, P = 0.74) in Parkinson's disease and 3.3 (1.4-7.6, P = 0.006) in parkinsonism compared with controls. Twenty-nine of the infected subjects died; 30-day fatality rate was 35.1%, without difference among the 3 groups. Six of 10 Parkinson's disease/parkinsonism patients had the infection during hospitalization or in a nursing home.

CONCLUSIONS: Parkinson's disease per se probably is not a risk factor for COVID-19 hospitalization. Conversely, parkinsonism is an independent risk factor probably because of a more severe health status, entailing higher care dependence and placement in high-infection-risk accommodations. © 2020 The Authors. Movement Disorders published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalMovement Disorders
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • COVID-19/complications
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Frail Elderly
  • Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Italy/epidemiology
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nursing Homes
  • Parkinson Disease/complications
  • Parkinsonian Disorders/complications
  • Patient Admission/statistics & numerical data
  • Risk


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