Clinical evaluation of elderly people with chronic vestibular disorder

Braz J Otorhinolaryngol. Jul-Aug 2006;72(4):515-22. doi: 10.1016/s1808-8694(15)30998-8.


Dizziness is common among the elderly.

Aim: To characterize social, demographic, clinical, functional and otoneurological data in elderly patients with chronic vestibular disorder.

Method: A sequential study of 120 patients with chronic vestibular disorder. Simple descriptive analyses were undertaken.

Results: Most of the patients were female (68.3%) with a mean age of 73.40+/-5.77 years. The average number of illnesses associated with the vestibular disorder was 3.83+/-1.84; the patients were taking on average 3.86+/-2.27 different medications. The most prevalent diagnosis on the vestibular exam was unilateral vestibular loss (29.8%) and the most prevalent etiology was metabolic vestibulopathy (40.0%) followed by benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (36.7%). Fifty-two patients (43.3%) had experienced dizziness for 5 years or more. Sixty-four patients (53.3%) had at least one fall in the last year and thirty-five (29.2%) had recurrent falls.

Conclusions: Most of the sample included females with associated diseases, and using many different drugs. The most prevalent vestibular diseases were metabolic and vascular labyrinth conditions. Dizziness is a chronic symptom in elderly patients. The association of two vestibular diseases is common. Falls are prevalent in chronic dizzy elderly patients.

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / statistics & numerical data*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Brazil / epidemiology
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dizziness / epidemiology
  • Dizziness / etiology*
  • Drug Utilization / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Vestibular Diseases / classification*
  • Vestibular Diseases / complications
  • Vestibular Diseases / epidemiology