Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo and comorbid conditions

ORL J Otorhinolaryngol Relat Spec. 2004;66(1):11-5. doi: 10.1159/000077227.


Purpose: To determine the prevalence of comorbid disease in patients with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) and the relationship of comorbid disease to symptoms of vertigo, disequilibrium, and anxiety.

Procedures: Patients who had posterior semicircular canal BPPV and who had been referred for vestibular rehabilitation at a tertiary care center completed a health status questionnaire and the Vertigo Symptom Scale, answered questions about level of vertigo, and were tested on computerized dynamic posturography.

Results: Subjects had high rates of diabetes, mild head trauma, and probable sinus disease. Balance was generally impaired, worse in diabetics and subjects with significant vestibular weakness. Subjects who smoked or had had mild head trauma had higher levels of anxiety.

Conclusions: Comorbid conditions, particularly diabetes, mild head trauma, and sinus disease, are unusually prevalent in BPPV patients. Message: Patients with comorbid disease are at risk for having increased vertigo, anxiety, and disequilibrium compared to other patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anxiety / etiology*
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity
  • Postural Balance*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Vertigo / complications*
  • Vertigo / psychology*