Neurodegenerative disorders

Mendelian Randomisation Study of Smoking, Alcohol, and Coffee Drinking in Relation to Parkinson’s Disease

C Domenighetti et al, 2021.
Journal of Parkinson’s Disease.
October 12, 2021



Previous studies showed that lifestyle behaviors (cigarette smoking, alcohol, coffee) are inversely associated with Parkinson’s disease (PD). The prodromal phase of PD raises the possibility that these associations may be explained by reverse causation.


To examine associations of lifestyle behaviors with PD using two-sample Mendelian randomisation (MR) and the potential for survival and incidence-prevalence biases.


We used summary statistics from publicly available studies to estimate the association of genetic polymorphisms with lifestyle behaviors, and from Courage-PD (7,369 cases, 7,018 controls; European ancestry) to estimate the association of these variants with PD. We used the inverse-variance weighted method to compute odds ratios (ORIVW) of PD and 95%confidence intervals (CI). Significance was determined using a Bonferroni-corrected significance threshold (p = 0.017).


We found a significant inverse association between smoking initiation and PD (ORIVW per 1-SD increase in the prevalence of ever smoking = 0.74, 95%CI = 0.60-0.93, p = 0.009) without significant directional pleiotropy. Associations in participants ≤67 years old and cases with disease duration ≤7 years were of a similar size. No significant associations were observed for alcohol and coffee drinking. In reverse MR, genetic liability toward PD was not associated with smoking or coffee drinking but was positively associated with alcohol drinking.


Our findings are in favor of an inverse association between smoking and PD that is not explained by reverse causation, confounding, and survival or incidence-prevalence biases. Genetic liability toward PD was positively associated with alcohol drinking. Conclusions on the association of alcohol and coffee drinking with PD are hampered by insufficient statistical power.


This information is intended for Healthcare professional audiences.
Please consider the environment before printing.