Anxiety in Parkinson’s Patients: What’s Timing Got to Do with It?

Parkinson’s Disease (PD) affects over 10 million people worldwide. Many PD patients experience comorbid anxiety disorders, which have been correlated with reduced quality of life and can manifest at any time during the course of PD, including prior to motor symptom onset. Prior work has demonstrated that patients diagnosed with depression following a PD diagnosis are less likely to receive depression treatment, but no such study has been conducted for anxiety. A cross-sectional analysis of secondary electronhic health record data was conducted. Data was obtained through Optum® de-identified Electronic Health Record dataset, using ICD-9 and ICD-10 diagnosis codes to determine PD status and comparing index date of anxiety and PD diagnoses to classify patients by relative time of diagnosis. Multivariate logistic regression was performed to assess factors associated with receipt of mental health treatment. Of PD patients with anxiety, 52% documented a diagnosis of anxiety prior to PD. Overall, 69% documented some treatment, with 79% of those diagnosed with anxiety prior to PD receiving some treatment compared to 59% of those diagnosed with anxiety on or after PD ( < 0.001). Patients with PD and subsequent anxiety diagnoses are less likely to receive treatment. Further study could explore reasons for variations in mental health care within the context of an existing PD diagnosis.

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