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Cancers Preceding Parkinson's Disease after Adjustment for Bias in a Danish Population-Based Case-Control Study.

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Cancer patients are at lower risk of developing Parkinson's disease (PD) compared with the general population. One explanation is the negative association between smoking and PD, but PD risk is also lower for cancers not related to smoking. Another explanation is survival bias where death from cancer may act as a competing risk. We conducted a large population-based case-control study in Denmark and investigated whether cancer diagnosis reduced the risk of developing PD even after adjusting for important risk factors including smoking, physical activity, and lifetime oestrogen status. Using probabilistic bias analysis we quantified the influence of survival bias. We estimated negative point estimates (ORs) between cancers and PD for all cancers except skin, female breast, and ill-defined and unspecified 0.85 (95% CI 0.59-1.21); smoking-related cancers 0.75 (95% CI 0.45-1.23); and cancers not related to smoking 0.82 (95% CI 0.49-1.38) that are very similar to those previously reported for a much larger Danish register only based study, even though our confidence intervals include the null. These effect estimates shifted towards the null after accounting for survival bias but most bias-adjusted ORs remained below 1 within the range of priors considered in simulations. Overall, cancer patients have a lower risk of developing PD even after controlling for cancer-related lifestyles factors and correcting for survival bias.

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