It has been noted that benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) may be associated with certain disorders and medical procedures. However, most studies to date were done in Europe, and epidemiological data on the United States (US) population are scarce. Gender-based information is even rarer. Furthermore, it is difficult to assess the relative prevalence of each type of association based solely on literature data, because different comorbidities were reported by various groups from different countries using different patient populations and possibly different inclusion/exclusion criteria. In this study, we surveyed and analyzed a large adult BPPV population (n=1,360 surveyed, 227 completed, most of which were recurrent BPPV cases) from Omaha, NE, US, and its vicinity, all diagnosed at Boys Town National Research Hospital (BTNRH) over the past decade using established and consistent diagnostic criteria. In addition, we performed a retrospective analysis of patients' diagnostic records (n=1,377, with 1,360 adults and 17 children). The following comorbidities were found to be significantly more prevalent in the BPPV population when compared to the age- and gender-matched general population: ear/hearing problems, head injury, thyroid problems, allergies, high cholesterol, headaches, and numbness/paralysis. There were gender differences in the comorbidities. In addition, familial predisposition was fairly common among the participants. Thus, the data confirm some previously reported comorbidities, identify new ones (hearing loss, thyroid problems, high cholesterol, and numbness/paralysis), and suggest possible predisposing and triggering factors and events for BPPV.
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