The prevalence and characteristics of dizziness in an elderly community

Age Ageing. 1994 Mar;23(2):117-20. doi: 10.1093/ageing/23.2.117.


A postal questionnaire was sent to 1000 subjects aged over 65 years randomly selected from the age/sex register of five group practices, 90% of subjects returning adequate information. Thirty per cent of responders reported dizziness; 27% of these had symptoms more than once per month and 37% had symptoms which lasted longer than 1 minute. Dizziness was most commonly provoked by postural change and head and neck movement. The prevalence of dizziness increased with age and was higher in women but these differences were not statistically significant. The prevalence of symptoms occurring more than once per month was significantly greater with increasing age (p = 0.0003). Dizziness was significantly associated with angina and previous myocardial infarction (p < 0.001) and antihypertensive therapy (p < 0.05) but not with current smoking, diabetes mellitus or previous stroke.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / complications
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dizziness / epidemiology*
  • Dizziness / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Scotland / epidemiology
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data*