Does trunkal vagotomy protect against Parkinson’s disease?

Vagotomy and Parkinson disease: a Swedish register-based matched-cohort study

Liu B, Fang F, Pedersen NL, et al.

Neurology 2017; 88:1996-2002.



To examine whether vagotomy decreases the risk of Parkinson disease (PD).


Using data from nationwide Swedish registers, we conducted a matched-cohort study of 9,430 vagotomized patients (3,445 truncal and 5,978 selective) identified between 1970 and 2010 and 377,200 reference individuals from the general population individually matched to vagotomized patients by sex and year of birth with a 40:1 ratio. Participants were followed up from the date of vagotomy until PD diagnosis, death, emigration out of Sweden, or December 31, 2010, whichever occurred first. Vagotomy and PD were identified from the Swedish Patient Register. We estimated hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) using Cox models stratified by matching variables, adjusting for country of birth, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes mellitus, vascular diseases, rheumatologic disease, osteoarthritis, and comorbidity index.


A total of 4,930 cases of incident PD were identified during 7.3 million person-years of follow-up. PD incidence (per 100,000 person-years) was 61.8 among vagotomized patients (80.4 for truncal and 55.1 for selective) and 67.5 among reference individuals. Overall, vagotomy was not associated with PD risk (HR 0.96, 95% CI 0.78-1.17). However, there was a suggestion of lower risk among patients with truncal vagotomy (HR 0.78, 95% CI 0.55-1.09), which may be driven by truncal vagotomy at least 5 years before PD diagnosis (HR 0.59, 95% CI 0.37-0.93). Selective vagotomy was not related to PD risk in any analyses.


Although overall vagotomy was not associated the risk of PD, we found suggestive evidence for a potential protective effect of truncal, but not selective, vagotomy against PD development.

This reference is cited in the neurochecklist:

Parkinson’s disease (PD): protective factors

Abstract link

Modeling the Molecular Basis of Parkinson’s Disease. Argonne National Laboratory on Flikr.

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