Return to top of page

New Resource on Parkinson’s Provides a Comprehensive Look at the Human and Economic Burden of the Disease

Published June 12, 2019

The Alliance for Aging Research releases The Silver Book®: Parkinson’s Disease with important facts on the disease that affects close to 1 million Americans

WASHINGTON, June 12, 2019 – The Alliance for Aging Research released The Silver Book®: Parkinson’s Disease factsheet today at a Capitol Hill briefing with The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. The new resource highlights leading statistics about the disease that affects close to one million Americans, including data on the toll of the disease and the value of innovation and public policy solutions in reducing its impact.

The Silver Book has become a trusted resource over the years for health policy practitioners and thought leaders looking for the leading statistics on chronic diseases that disproportionately impact older adults. This new factsheet gives an important look at the impact Parkinson’s disease is having on our older population, and underscores how important it is that we continue to invest in research that could change the lives of millions. We are pleased to add this new resource to The Silver Book series,” said Susan Peschin, MHS, President and CEO of the Alliance for Aging Research.

The latest in the Silver Book® series, this factsheet features new data from a study commissioned by The Michael J. Fox Foundation and conducted by the Lewin Group. The study provides the most comprehensive assessment of the economic burden of Parkinson’s to date, nearly doubling previous estimates and for the first time, includes the various ways Parkinson’s affects a person’s finances and their ability to participate in the labor market.

“We know about the physical and emotional impacts of Parkinson’s disease, and now we have a clearer understanding of its economic burden,” said Ted Thompson, JD, Senior Vice President of The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. “This study provides strong data to support increased investment in biomedical research. We plan to share it with Congress and other policy makers who can ensure we make those investments and alleviate the pressure on programs like Medicare and Social Security, as well as the wallets of those living with Parkinson’s.”

The new study calculates the total cost of Parkinson’s at $51.9 billion each year, with $25.4 billion attributable to direct medical costs (e.g., hospitalizations, medication) and $26.5 billion in indirect costs including disability income, reduced employment, and social productivity loss.

Other key facts in The Silver Book®: Parkinson’s Disease, include:

  • Every 9 minutes someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease
  • The average age of Parkinson’s disease diagnosis in the U.S. is 70.5 years old
  • Men are 1.37 times more likely to have Parkinson’s disease than women
  • More than 23,000 premature deaths in 2017 were associated with Parkinson’s disease
  • If progression of the disease was slowed by 20 percent, it would save each person with Parkinson’s more than $75,000

You can find these, as well as additional statistics and sources, online at This data will join the more than 3,000 facts and figures from more than 800 reliable references on a number of chronic diseases that disproportionately impact older Americans.

This Silver Book® fact sheet was made possible thanks to educational grants from Lundbeck, Roivant Sciences, and Sunovion.

About the Alliance for Aging Research
The Alliance for Aging Research is the leading nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the pace of scientific discoveries and their application to vastly improve the universal human experience of aging and health. The Alliance believes advances in research help people live longer, happier, more productive lives and reduce healthcare costs over the long term. For more than 30 years, the Alliance has guided efforts to substantially increase funding and focus for aging at the National Institutes of Health and Food and Drug Administration; built influential coalitions to guide groundbreaking regulatory improvements for age-related diseases; and created award-winning, high-impact educational materials to improve the health and well-being of older adults and their family caregivers. For more information, visit

Media Contact:
Jim Bowers
[email protected]
(202) 463-7100

News & Updates