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Parkinson’s Disease
Volume 2015, Article ID 576564, 7 pages
Research Article

Parkinson’s Disease Prevalence and Proximity to Agricultural Cultivated Fields

1Clinical Research Center, Soroka University Medical Center, 84101 Beer Sheva, Israel
2Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben Gurion University, 84101 Beer Sheva, Israel
3Department of Neurology, Soroka University Medical Center, 84101 Beer Sheva, Israel
4Department of Geography and Environmental Development, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Ben Gurion University, 84101 Beer Sheva, Israel
5Sackler Faculty of Medicine, School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology, Tel Aviv University, 6997801 Tel Aviv, Israel

Received 23 May 2015; Revised 13 July 2015; Accepted 27 July 2015

Academic Editor: Peter Hagell

Copyright © 2015 Maayan Yitshak Sade et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The risk for developing Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a combination of multiple environmental and genetic factors. The Negev (Southern Israel) contains approximately 252.5 km2 of agricultural cultivated fields (ACF). We aimed to estimate the prevalence and incidence of PD and to examine possible geographical clustering and associations with agricultural exposures. We screened all “Clalit” Health Services members in the Negev (70% of the population) between the years 2000 and 2012. Individual demographic, clinical, and medication prescription data were available. We used a refined medication tracer algorithm to identify PD patients. We used mixed Poisson models to calculate the smoothed standardized incidence rates (SIRs) for each locality. We identified ACF and calculate the size and distance of the fields from each locality. We identified 3,792 cases of PD. SIRs were higher than expected in Jewish rural localities (median SIR [95% CI]: 1.41 [1.28; 1.53] in 2001–2004, 1.62 [1.48; 1.76] in 2005–2008, and 1.57 [1.44; 1.80] in 2009–2012). Highest SIR was observed in localities located in proximity to large ACF (SIR 1.54, 95% CI 1.32; 1.79). In conclusion, in this population based study we found that PD SIRs were higher than expected in rural localities. Furthermore, it appears that proximity to ACF and the field size contribute to PD risk.