risk management

Myocardial Infarctions May Decrease the Risk of Parkinson Disease

Individuals who have had a myocardial infarction (MI) may be less likely than the general population to develop Parkinson disease, according to the results of a recent study.1

The researchers used data from Danish medical registries to conduct a nationwide population-based, matched cohort study. Included were 181,994 individuals with a first-time MI diagnosis who had survived for at least 1 year following the MI. This cohort was compared with 909,970 individuals without MI from the general population who were matched for sex, age, and calendar year of diagnosis. Data from 1995 to 2016 were included.

The results indicated that the cumulative incidence was 0.9% for Parkinson disease and 0.1% for secondary Parkinsonism after 21 years of follow-up for the MI cohort. Further, there was a 20% decreased risk of Parkinson disease and a 28% decreased risk of secondary Parkinsonism among the MI cohort compared with the control cohort.

“We have previously found that following a heart attack, the risk of neurovascular complications such as ischemic stroke (clot-caused stroke) or vascular dementia is markedly increased, so the finding of a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease was somewhat surprising,” the researchers concluded in a press release.2 “These findings indicate that the risk of Parkinson’s disease is at least not increased following a heart attack and should not be a worry for patients or a preventive focus for clinicians at follow-up.”


—Leigh Precopio



  1. Sundbøll J, Komjáthiné Szépligeti S, Szentkúti P, et al. Risk of Parkinson disease and secondary parkinsonism in myocardial infarction survivors. Am Heart J. Published online February 16, 2022. https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/JAHA.121.022768
  2. Heart attack survivors may be less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease. News release. American Heart Association; February 16, 2022. Accessed February 17, 2022. https://newsroom.heart.org/news/heart-attack-survivors-may-be-less-likely-to-develop-parkinsons-disease?preview=5ce0