The findings regarding whether the greater iron level or intake is a risk factor to Parkinson’s disease (PD) or parkinsonism was not clear. The purpose of this study is to establish a consistent association between iron supplementation and parkinsonism risk, we conducted a large-scale prospective cohort study using comprehensive longitudinal data from the UK Biobank. The longitudinal cohort data of 385,898 participants (including 911 cases) who were middle to old aged British adults and joined the UK Biobank study from 2006 to 2010 and were followed up until 2018 was analyzed. The associations between iron supplement intake, hemoglobin levels and all cause subsequent parkinsonism risk after corrections of potential confounders (sex, age, household income, education length, employment status, deprivation level, body mass index, physical activity level, household numbers, smoking and drinking levels, health status, blood pressure) were investigated. Analyses revealed that (a) iron supplementation was significantly associated with higher parkinsonism risk, (b) greater hemoglobin was weakly and insignificantly associated with lower parkinsonism risk, and (c) multivitamin or vitamin C supplement intake was not significantly associated with parkinsonism risk. Regardless of whether the subjects were classified as anemic, normal, or polycythemic or in the hemoglobin level quintile, there was no nonlinear association between hemoglobin and parkinsonism risk. Parkinsonism risk did not differ between participants reporting supplementary iron intake with or without vitamin C or multivitamin supplement intake. Furthermore, polygenic risk score of PD negatively correlated with hemoglobin level, while it did not associate with intake of iron supplement or multivitamin or vitamin C supplement intake. The results suggest excessive iron intake may increase parkinsonism risk. Interventional studies are warranted to examine whether iron intake restriction is beneficial for individuals without clinical iron deficiency.
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