Risk factors for idiopathic intracranial hypertension in men: a case-control study

J Neurol Sci. 2010 Mar 15;290(1-2):86-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2009.11.001. Epub 2009 Nov 30.


Objective: To identify risk factors for idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) in men.

Design: Case-control study. A 96-item telephone questionnaire, answered retrospectively, with cases recalling at the age of their diagnosis and controls recalling at the age of their corresponding case's diagnosis.

Setting: Outpatient clinics in two US tertiary care centers.

Participants: The characteristics of 24 men with IIH were compared to those of 48 controls matched for sex, age, race, and World Health Organization body mass index (BMI) category.

Main outcome measures: Two previously validated questionnaires: the ADAM (Androgen Deficiency in Aging Males) questionnaire for testosterone deficiency and the Berlin questionnaire for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), embedded within the telephone questionnaire. Analysis with Mantel-Haenszel odds ratios and mixed-effects logistic regression models accounted for matching.

Results: Cases and controls had similar enrollment matching characteristics. Although matching was successful by BMI category, there was a small difference between BMI values of cases and controls (cases: median 31.7, controls: median 29.9; p=0.03). After adjustment by BMI value, men with IIH were significantly more likely than controls to have a positive ADAM questionnaire for testosterone deficiency (OR: 17.4, 95% CI: 5.6-54.5; p<0.001) and significantly more likely to have either a positive Berlin questionnaire for OSA or history of diagnosed OSA (OR: 4.4, 95% CI: 1.5-12.9; p=0.03).

Conclusions: Men with IIH are more likely than controls to have symptoms associated with testosterone deficiency and OSA. These associations suggest a possible role for sex hormones and OSA in the pathogenesis of IIH in men.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Body Mass Index
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cerebral Arteries / physiopathology
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / physiology
  • Comorbidity
  • Endocrine System Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Endocrine System Diseases / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Pseudotumor Cerebri / epidemiology
  • Pseudotumor Cerebri / physiopathology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Sex Factors
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / epidemiology*
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / physiopathology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Testosterone / deficiency*
  • Young Adult


  • Testosterone