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Parkinson's disease, stress, occupational stress, cohort study, risk factor

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Background: Stress has been suggested as a contributing factor in the etiology of Parkinson's Disease (PD), but epidemiological evidence is sparse.

Objective: The objective of this study was to explore the association between occupational stress according to the job demands‐control model and the risk for PD.

Methods: We conducted a population‐based cohort study with 2,544,748 Swedes born 1920 to 1950 who had an occupation reported in the population and housing censuses in 1980 or, if missing, in 1970. Job demands and control were measured using a job‐exposure matrix. Incident PD cases were identified using Swedish national health registers from 1987 to 2010. Data were analyzed with Cox regression with age as the underlying time scale, adjusting for sex, education, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease as a proxy for smoking.

Results: During a mean follow‐up time of 21.3 years, 21,544 incident PD cases were identified. High demands were associated with increased PD risk among men, most evident in men with high education. High control was associated with increased PD risk among the low educated. This association was more pronounced in women. High‐strain jobs (high demands and low control) was only associated with increased PDrisk among men with high education, whereas active jobs (high demands and high control) were associated with increased PD risk among men with low education.

Interpretation: High job demands appear to increase PD risk in men, especially in men with high education, whereas high job control increases PD risk among low educated, more strongly in women.

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Movement Disorders, v. 33, issue 9, p. 1456-1464