Higher incidence of Ménière's disease during COVID-19 pandemic: a preliminary report

Acta Otolaryngol. 2021 Oct;141(10):921-924. doi: 10.1080/00016489.2021.1913288. Epub 2021 Sep 15.


Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic represented a stressful event.

Objectives: The incidence of newly diagnosed Ménière's disease (MD) patients before and during COVID-19 at our Institution was calculated.

Materials and methods: The period 2018-2020 was considered. Incidence was calculated as number of annual first MD diagnoses divided by the number of annual first audiological evaluations.

Results: One hundred and eighty-three patients were considered. Annual incidence of MD at our institution was 1.3% in 2018, 1.2% in 2019, and 3.2% in 2020, resulting in a significant increase during COVID-19 pandemic (2018 vs. 2020, p=.00001; 2019 vs. 2020, p=.00001). MD patients in 2020 presented a higher number of vertigo attacks (2018 vs. 2020, p=.04; 2019 vs. 2020, p=.04) and higher Dizziness Handicap Inventory questionnaire (DHI) values (2018 vs. 2020, p=.02; 2019 vs. 2020, p=.03). During COVD-19 pandemic, MD patients reported significantly higher State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) - Y1 (2018 vs. 2020, p=.04; 2019 vs. 2020, p=.03).

Conclusions and significance: A higher incidence of MD first diagnosis was calculated during COVID-19 pandemic; furthermore, MD patients presented with more vertigo attacks and higher DHI values. These could be associated with the higher state anxiety during COVID-19 pandemic.

Keywords: COVID-19; Coronavirus disease 2019; Ménière’s disease; anxiety.

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety / epidemiology
  • COVID-19
  • Dizziness / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Meniere Disease / epidemiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pandemics
  • Vertigo / epidemiology