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Otol Neurotol. 2013 Sep;34(7):1336-41. doi: 10.1097/MAO.0b013e3182868818.

Genetic evidence for an ethnic diversity in the susceptibility to Ménière's disease.

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Department of Cell Biology and Genetics, Gonda Research Laboratories, House Research Institute, Los Angeles, California 90057, USA.



Ménière's disease (MD) is a debilitating disorder of the inner ear characterized by cochlear and vestibular dysfunction. The cause of this disease is still unknown, and epidemiological data for MD are sparse. From the existing literature, women seem to be more susceptible than men, and Caucasians seem to be more susceptible than Asians.


In this article, we characterize a large definite MD cohort for sex and age of onset of disease and use molecular genetic methodologies to characterize ethnicity.


Medical record review for sex and age of onset. Ancestry analysis compared results from the principal component analysis of whole-genome genotype data from MD patients to self-identified ancestry in control samples.


House Clinic in Los Angeles.


Definitive MD patients.


Our review of medical records for definitive MD patients reveals that women are more susceptible than men. We also find that men and women have nearly identical age of onset for disease. Lastly, interrogation of molecular genetic data with principal component analysis allowed detailed observations about the ethnic ancestry of our patients. Comparison of the ethnicity of MD patients presenting to our tertiary care clinic with the self-recollected ethnicity of all patients visiting the clinic revealed an ethnic bias, with Caucasians presenting at a higher frequency than expected and the remaining major ethnicities populating Los Angeles (Hispanics, Blacks, and Asians) presenting at a lower frequency than expected.


To the best of our knowledge, this report is the first ethnic characterization of a large MD cohort from a large metropolitan region using molecular genetic data. Our data suggest that there is a bias in sex and ethnic susceptibility to this disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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