Gender Disparities in Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson's Disease

Danielle S. Shpiner, Daniel G. Di Luca, Iahn Cajigas, Juan S. Diaz, Jason Margolesky, Henry Moore, Bonnie E. Levin, Carlos Singer, Jonathan Jagid, Corneliu C. Luca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objectives: This study sought to determine whether there is a gender disparity in patients undergoing deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery for Parkinson's disease (PD) at a single health system, and better understand the reasons for this discrepancy. Materials and Methods: We analyzed data from the University of Miami DBS Database, which included 3251 PD patients, using chi-square, repeated measures ANOVA, and t tests to examine gender differences in the number of patients referred for surgery, reasons for referral, number receiving/not receiving surgery, reasons for not receiving surgery, and postsurgical outcomes. Results: During the study period, 207 PD patients were referred for DBS (75.8% male), and 100 underwent surgery (77.0% male). Of those who did not receive surgery, the most common reasons were need for further medical optimization (26.2%), suboptimal performance on neuropsychological evaluation (22.4%), other reason (20.6%), lost to follow-up (18.7%), or patient preference (12.2%). However, in women one of the most common reasons was patient preference (28.0%), and this was significant compared to men (p < 0.001). Men were more likely to be lost to follow-up (p = 0.046). There was no statistically significant difference in postsurgical outcomes. Conclusions: Despite similar postsurgical improvements, women were less likely to undergo DBS surgery due to their own preference, while men were more likely to be lost to follow-up. These data underscore the need for increased education and awareness of DBS so that all patients with PD who qualify for surgery can benefit from this procedure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)484-488
Number of pages5
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 2019


  • Parkinson's disease
  • deep brain stimulation
  • healthcare disparities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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