1-Year Prevalence of Dizziness and Vertigo in the Community-Dwelling Elderly in Rio de Janeiro
Introduction: Dizziness is a frequent complaint in geriatric clinical settings, and is associated to significant comorbidity and impaired functional, psychological, and social dimensions. Falls and fractures are the most threatening consequences of dizziness, as they may cause 70% of the accidental deaths in the elderly. In community-dwelling elderly samples, 1-year prevalence of dizziness ranged from 11 to 45%.
Objective: This study aims to estimate the prevalence of dizziness and vertigo in the community-dwelling elderly in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Methods: A total of 142 subjects (> 60 years old) were interviewed on the streets of Central and Southern zones of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. A questionnaire with direct questions about dizziness, its characteristics, and a 0-10 Likert scale measuring perceived impairment on daily activities.
Results: The 1-year prevalence of dizziness and vertigo was 28.9 and 11.3%, respectively. Recurrent vertigo was reported by 83% of symptomatic subjects. Median reported impairment of daily activities was 8 (5;10). Males were at higher risk of dizziness (odds ratio, 2.68; p = 0.031), but age had no significant effect on prevalence.
Conclusion: Dizziness and vertigo were frequently reported in the community-dwelling elderly, and had substantial perceived impact on daily activities.
Keywords: dizziness, vertigo, elderly, prevalence.