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Langhagen, Thyra; Albers, Lucia; Heinen, Florian; Straube, Andreas; Filippopulos, Filipp; Landgraf, Mirjam N.; Gerstl, Lucia; Jahn, Klaus; Kries, Rüdiger von (2015): Period Prevalence of Dizziness and Vertigo in Adolescents.
In: PLOS ONE 10(9), e0136512


Objectives To assess the period prevalence and severity of dizziness and vertigo in adolescents. Methods In 1661 students in 8th-10th grade in twelve grammar schools in Munich, Germany information on vertigo/dizziness was assessed by a questionnaire in the class room setting. Three month prevalence of dizziness/vertigo was estimated;symptoms were categorized as orthostatic dizziness, spinning vertigo, swaying vertigo or unspecified dizziness. Duration of symptoms and impact on daily life activities were assessed. Results 72.0% (95%-CI = [69.8-74.2];N = 1196) of the students (mean age 14.5 +/- 1.1) reported to suffer fromat least one episode of dizziness or vertigo in the last three months. Most adolescents ticked to have symptoms of orthostatic dizziness (52.0%,95%-CI = [49.5-54.4],N = 863). The period prevalence for the other types of vertigo were spinning vertigo: 11.6%,95%-CI = [10.1-13.3],N = 193;swaying vertigo: 12.2%,95%-CI = [10.6-13.8],N = 202;and unspecified dizziness: 15.2%,95%-CI = [13.5-17.1],N = 253. About 50% of students with spinning vertigo and swaying vertigo also report to have orthostatic dizziness. Most vertigo/dizziness types were confined to less than one minute on average. The proportion of students with any dizziness/vertigo accounting for failure attending school, leisure activities or obliging them to stay in bed were more pronounced for spinning or swaying vertigo. Conclusion Dizziness and vertigo in grammar school students appear to be as common as in adults. In face of the high period prevalence and clinical relevance of dizziness/vertigo in adolescents there is a need for prevention strategies. Risk factors for dizziness/vertigo need to be assessed to allow for conception of an intervention programme.