Disparities in diagnosis, treatment and survival between Black and White Parkinson patients

Tao Xie*, Chuanhong Liao, Danielle Lee, Huiyan Yu, Mahesh Padmanaban, Wenjun Kang, Julie Johnson, Jumana Alshaikh, Carlen Yuen, Matthew Burns, Brian C.H. Chiu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Introduction: Racial disparities in diagnosis, treatment and survival in Black patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) compared to White patients have not been well studied, largely due to limited number of studies and information on Black patients in healthcare systems. Studying racial disparities and identifying underlying factors in large populations are important to understand PD and improve care. Methods: We retrospectively identified PD patients on both races from 1/1/2006 to 10/31/2017 and compared demographics, socioeconomic status (educations, incomes and insurances), comorbidities (all categories, including mood, cognition and psychosis), treatment (medications for parkinsonism and major non-motor symptoms, and frequency and locations of healthcare) and survival, and identified factors associated with medication usage and survival. Results: We retrospectively studied 2033 PD patients, of whom 725 were Black. Black patients lacked male predominance, were 4 years older at first diagnosis here, more likely to smoke and live in a low education and income community, and possessed limited insurances compared to White patients. Black patients also had more comorbidities and were more likely to receive care through emergency or inpatient service, but less likely to be on medications for parkinsonism and mood disorders. Race, age, smoking status, insurance type, frequency and locations of healthcare and comorbidities were associated with medication usage. Black race, older age, inpatient admission and malignancy were associated with increased risk of death. Conclusion: We revealed racial disparities in diagnosis, treatment and survival, and factors associated with medication usage and survival in the largest reported Black PD cohort from a single center.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-12
Number of pages6
JournalParkinsonism and Related Disorders
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Black
  • Disparity
  • Medications
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Clinical Neurology


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