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Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2000 May;122(5):630-4.

Unrecognized benign paroxysmal positional vertigo in elderly patients.

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Bobby R. Alford Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Communicative Sciences, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Balance disorders in elderly patients are associated with an increased risk of falls but are often difficult to diagnose because of comorbid chronic medical problems. We performed a cross-sectional study to determine the prevalence of unrecognized benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) and associated lifestyle sequelae in a public, inner-city geriatric population. Dizziness was found in 61% of patients, whereas balance disorders were found in 77% of patients. Nine percent were found to have unrecognized BPPV. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that the presence of a spinning sensation and the absence of a lightheadedness sensation predicted the presence of unrecognized BPPV. Patients with unrecognized BPPV were more likely to have reduced activities of daily living scores, to have sustained a fall in the previous 3 months, and to have depression. These data indicate that unrecognized BPPV is common within the elderly population and has associated morbidity. Further prospective studies are warranted.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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