The prevalence of vestibular disorders and the risk of falls from inner ear-based vestibular dysfunction, as well as the influence of socio-demographic characteristics were evaluated by Agrawal, Carey, Santina, Schubert, and Minor (2009). Their analysis was founded on the 2001 to 2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys representing cross-sectional data from the United States of 5,086 adults aged 40 years and older. The primary outcome measure was the Modified Romberg Test performed on firm and compliant surfaces.
The authors determined that 35 percent of adults over 40 years of age had vestibular dysfunction. Of the current U.S. population, potential vestibular dysfunction may be implicated for some 69 million Americans. Agrawal, Carey, Santina, Schubert, and Minor determined that the odds of vestibular dysfunction increased with age. However, among people with more than a high school education, the odds of experiencing vestibular dysfunction was 40 percent less, and for people with diabetes mellitus, the odds of experiencing vestibular dysfunction was 70 percent higher. People who had clinical symptoms (dizziness) had a 12 times greater likelihood of falling.For More Information, References and Recommendations:
Agrawal, Y., Carey, JP., Santina, CCD., Schubert, MC., Minor, LB. (2009): Disorders of Balance and Vestibular Function in US Adults - Data From the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2001-2004 Arch Intern Med. 2009;169(10):938-944.
Beck, DL. (2008): Pediatric Vestibular Systems.
Beck, DL. (2008): Pediatric Vestibular Occurrence Rates.
Beck, DL. (2008): Vestibular Disorientation and Space Sickness.
Beck, DL. (2009: ENG and Rotational Testing: Interview with Gary Jacobson, PhD.