[Podcast] Mortality and Parkinson’s with Dr. Bastiaan Bloem

The parkinson's podcast logo on a purple background with the words "mortality and Parkinson's with Dr. Baastian Bloem. On the right side of the image is a picture of Dr. Bloem in front of a white pillar with white hair, a white bear, and a light blue shirt. His arm is resting on his knee. He is wearing black pants and his knee is bent. He is white.

Mortality and Parkinson’s: The elephant in the room

In this episode, Dr. Bastiaan Bloem talks with Davis Phinney Foundation Executive Director, Polly Dawkins, about a recent article he co-authored, “The Elephant in the Room: Critical Reflections on Mortality Rates Among Individuals with Parkinson’s Disease.”

In the article, Dr. Bloem et al. write, “Although the survival of people with Parkinson’s has improved over time, people with Parkinson’s still live fewer years than their age- and sex-matched population comparators, albeit at older ages this difference can be small.” Dr. Bloem and his co-authors also acknowledge that doctors and researchers “often emphasize the tremendous impact of [Parkinson’s] on an individual’s life. However, in public awareness campaigns, we largely avoid discussions on the survival of people with Parkinson’s…”

It’s understandable: the topic of mortality and Parkinson’s is often painful. However, in this episode of The Parkinson’s Podcast, Dr. Bloem argues out that openly acknowledging that Parkinson’s shortens lifespans is a good thing for people with Parkinson’s for a multiple reasons.

Listen to the episode to hear Dr. Bloem’s perspective about multiple topics related to mortality and Parkinson’s, including:

  • The commonly held view that people die with Parkinson’s, not from Parkinson’s
  • Pesticides, chemical exposure, and other environmental risks
  • Reasons for hope, including specific advice about exercise and diet
  • The policy and funding implications of candid discussion of mortality in Parkinson’s

Loving the Parkinson’s Podcast? You can listen to more episodes on our website!


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