Migrainous Vertigo Not Uncommon in Population

Migrainous vertigo is associated with considerable health care costs

TUESDAY, Sept. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Migrainous vertigo has a considerable impact on a patient's personal life and health care costs but is often overlooked in the general population, according to research published in the Sept. 26 issue of Neurology.

Hannelore K. Neuhauser, M.D., M.P.H., of the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin, Germany, and colleagues screened a representative sample of the German population for moderate or severe dizziness/vertigo. Migrainous vertigo was defined as: 1) recurrent vestibular vertigo; 2) migraine according to the International Headache Society; 3) migrainous symptoms during at least two vertiginous attacks and 4) vertigo not attributed to another disorder. They conducted a 12-month follow-up by telephone.

The investigators found that the lifetime prevalence of migrainous vertigo was nearly 1.0 percent and the one-year prevalence was 0.89 percent. Most subjects (67 percent) reported spontaneous rotational vertigo while a smaller percentage (24 percent) had positional vertigo. Nearly one-quarter experienced headaches with their vertigo and two-thirds of patients with migrainous vertigo consulted a doctor, but only 20 percent were diagnosed with migrainous vertigo.

The results suggest that migrainous vertigo is linked to considerable health care costs, the authors note. "The low recognition rate of migrainous vertigo is worrisome and confirms that migrainous vertigo is not a well-known condition in primary care," they write.

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