Prevalence of peripheral vestibular disorders in children living in Germany
23 April 2019 (online)
Dizziness is a common complaint among patients; however, there is a lack of valid data concerning age and gender distribution of dizziness disorders among children in the age group of 0 – 15 years. The goal of this study is to describe the prevalence and gender distribution of three classical peripheral vestibular disorders; benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), vestibular neuritis (VN) and Menière's disease (MD) as well as other forms of dizziness in children between 0 and 15 years of age, using state-sponsored health insurance data.
A population-based epidemiological survey based on confirmed ICD-10 codes of all children aged below 15 years, living in Germany and covered by German Statutory Health Insurance, was performed. Outcome measures were age and gender distribution and prevalence of BPPV, VN, MD and other forms of dizziness in this population.
Dizziness diagnosed as being of peripheral vestibular origin was found in 1,414 out of 9,325,021 children (0.015%). Of these, 763 were female (53.96%) and 651 were male (46.03%). The prevalence of peripheral vestibular disorders was found to be to 15.16 for every 100,000 individuals. BPPV was most frequently coded followed by VN and MD.
Peripheral vestibular disorders can occur in childhood and prevalence thereof increases with rising age. In childhood, girls and boys are similarly often affected. Peripheral vestibular disorders should be taken into consideration when a young child presents with vertigo, dizziness or ambiguous symptoms. Peripheral vestibular disorders in childhood may not be as rare as suspected but may be underdiagnosed.