A cross-sectional prevalence study of Parkinson's disease in China was undertaken in 1997-98. We assessed 29 454 residents aged ≥55 years from 79 rural and 58 urban communities in Beijing, Xian, and Shanghai, who were selected through stratified, multistage, cluster sampling. With a standardised diagnostic protocol, we identified 277 people with the disease. Prevalence of Parkinson's disease for those aged ≥65 years was 1·7% (95% CI 1·5-1·9). We estimate that 1·7 million people in China have the disease (aged ≥55 years). Our findings suggest that prevalence of Parkinson's disease in China is similar to that in developed countries.
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