Diabetes and Parkinson’s disease (PD) may share underlying causes, making people with diabetes slightly more prone to developing PD, according to a recent National Cheng Kung University study. Researchers examined nine years worth of health insurance claim forms of more than one million Taiwanese adults, including 600,000 people with diabetes. They found that 3.6 per 10,000 people with diabetes were diagnosed with PD each year, compared with 2.1 per 10,000 who did not have diabetes. Women with diabetes age 40 to 60, and men in their 20s and 30s, demonstrated two times the risk of developing PD as their cohorts who did not have diabetes. Generally, PD is more prevalent in people in their 60s. "Our findings tend to suggest a relationship between diabetes and early-onset Parkinson`s disease," say study authors Yu Sun and Chung-Yi Li. "Because our study was based on claims data it lacks information on some of the known risk factors for Parkinson`s disease, such as pesticide exposure." Sun and Li suggest that the two diseases may be linked by chronic, low-level inflammation throughout the body or by a genetic susceptibility. They also point out that while slightly elevated, the risk of PD for patients with diabetes is still very low.