Journal of Neurology

, Volume 266, Issue 5, pp 1120–1126 | Cite as

Parkinson’s disease among migrants in Europe: estimating the magnitude of an emerging phenomenon

  • Marco CanevelliEmail author
  • Giuseppe Bruno
  • Martina Valletta
  • Andrea Fabbrini
  • Nicola Vanacore
  • Alfredo Berardelli
  • Giovanni Fabbrini
Original Communication



The occurrence of age-related pathological conditions among subjects with a migration background and composing ethnic minorities is an emerging challenge for Western countries. Specifically, the onset of neurodegenerative diseases in these populations of individuals might assume special relevance and generate additional complexities for our healthcare systems. The aim of the present study was to estimate the number of Parkinson’s disease (PD) cases in migrant subjects living in Europe.


The estimated cases of PD among ≥ 50-year-old migrants living in Europe, and in each of the 32 considered countries, were calculated by multiplying the number of migrants (derived by the Eurostat data) with the age-specific prevalence rates of PD (obtained by a recent meta-analysis).


Nearly 20 million migrants ≥ 50 years lived in Europe in 2017. The application of the age-specific prevalence rates led to the estimation of 129,645 overall PD cases in this population, accounting for the 8% of overall PD cases in Europe. National estimates widely ranged from 36 cases in Iceland to 29,390 cases in France.


The present findings suggest that the occurrence of PD in migrants and minority groups already constitutes an important issue for European healthcare systems and will assume further relevance given the rapidly evolving sociodemographic scenario. Characterizing the phenomenon at the “real world” level and implementing coordinated initiatives and strategies represent novel but pressing needs for our countries.


Parkinson’s disease Migrants Epidemiology Public health Migrant health 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors. Authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose for the present study. Marco Canevelli is supported by a research grant of the Italian Ministry of Health (GR-2016-02364975) for the project “Dementia in immigrants and ethnic minorities living in Italy: clinical-epidemiological aspects and public health perspectives” (ImmiDem).

Ethical standards

The manuscript does not contain clinical studies or patient data.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marco Canevelli
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Giuseppe Bruno
    • 1
  • Martina Valletta
    • 1
  • Andrea Fabbrini
    • 1
  • Nicola Vanacore
    • 2
  • Alfredo Berardelli
    • 1
    • 3
  • Giovanni Fabbrini
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Human NeuroscienceSapienza UniversityRomeItaly
  2. 2.National Center for Disease Prevention and Health PromotionNational Institute of HealthRomeItaly
  3. 3.IRCCS NEUROMEDPozzilliItaly

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