Objectives: Although it is commonly recognized that dietary restrictions may improve the clinical course of Menière's disease, their effectiveness has not been definitely demonstrated. The aim of this study was to examine whether caffeine consumption could be involved in Menière's disease.
Methods: Cross-sectional, observational, case-control study, comparing caffeine consumption (intake of coffee, tea, kola-type beverages, energy drinks, and chocolate-containing beverages or foods) between patients with Menière's disease (group A) and patients affected by vertigo with other origins (group B) and/or control subjects (group C).
Patients: 180 subjects (72 in group A, 72 in group B, and 36 in group C). Caffeine intake was categorized in four levels: very low (0-25 mg/day), low (26-100 mg/day), moderate (101-300 mg/day), and high (≥301 mg/day). Very low and low intake were considered light consumption, and moderate and high intake, heavy consumption.
Results: Mean daily caffeine intake was 175.8 mg. Menière's disease patients showed a daily caffeine intake (222 mg) greater than those not affected by this disease (145 mg). Excluding in group B migraine patients, differences in caffeine intake are significant among the three groups (P = 0.021). There were significantly more heavy-consumers in group A than in other two groups jointed (P = 0.024; OR = 1.301, IC95% (1.015;1.668)). In group A, the age at onset of symptoms in caffeine consumers (49.7 years) was lower than in non-consumers (55.9 years).
Discussion: It should be recommended to reduce caffeine intake in those population groups with higher risk of Menière's disease (e.g. subjects with family members suffering from this disease).
Keywords: Age at onset; Caffeine; Caffeine consumption; Chocolate; Coffee; Diet; Meniere's disease; Tea.