Korea's Parkinson's Patients Often Misdiagnosed
Korea has more Parkinson's disease patients per capita than any other country in the world, but 70 percent are misunderstood as suffering from normal aging effects or senile dementia and are not receiving proper treatment.
In June and July of this year, Prof. Chung Hae-kwan from Sungkyunkwan University's School of Medicine, with support from the Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention, studied 2,238 seniors over 65 in Gangneung.
According to the study, there are 2,060 to 2,993 Parkinson's patients for every 100,000 seniors over 65 in Korea. By sex, there are 807 for every 100,000 senior men and 2,020 for every 100,000 senior women.
When adjusted to include seniors over 60, the figure reaches at least 1,252.7 Parkinson's patients per 100,000 in Korea. This is the highest rate in the world.
In comparison, the figure in the U.S. is 429.5 per 100,000 over 60, 276.2 to 1,280.1 in China, 382.3 to 445.2 in Japan, 302.9 to 1,324.2 in Italy and 508.1 to 627.8 in the U.K.
However, only 33.3 percent of Parkinson's patients in Korea are diagnosed accurately, with the other 66.7 percent believed to be suffering from normal aging effects or dementia.
"When detected at an early stage, Parkinson's disease can be delayed considerably with proper treatment," Prof. Chung said. "But most patients are even misdiagnosed at hospitals, so raising public awareness of Parkinson's is urgently needed."
Parkinson's is a degenerative disorder in which an insufficient amount of dopamine in the brain leads to chronic shaking or muscle rigidity, and eventually death. Last year, there were 39,968 patients diagnosed with Parkinson's and receiving proper treatment in Korea.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Parkinson's Disease in Korea
Very interesting. I wonder why the numbers are so high.