Epidemiology of Vertigo on Hospital Emergency

Luis Roque Reis, Rita Lameiras, Pedro Cavilhas, Pedro Escada

Abstract


Introduction: Vertigo is one of the most frequent motives in seeking specialized medical care in an emergency. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relevance of balance disorders in the Otorhinolaryngology urgency, the epidemiological characteristics and the possible seasonality. It was used a sample of patients who were assisted in a health care emergency department of this specialty, of a universitary hospital and during a period of four years.
Material and Methods: The project was conceived as a descriptive epidemiological study of population type, retrospective, during the period from 2010 to 2013. A total population of 40.173 attendances of patients during this period used the emergency eepartment of Otolaryngology. The parameters studied included age, gender, annual number of cases (total and percentage), date of crisis of vertigo, seasonal distribution by seasons and annual proportion of hospitalized cases.
Results: A total of 4.347 patients (10.8%) sought medical attention due to dizziness/balance disorders over the four years of the study. There has been an annual increase in the number of cases between 7.6% (in 2010) and 17% (in 2013). Women were more often affected (68.3%) and crises occurred more often in individuals between 60 and 79 years of age (40%). The cases were distributed heterogeneous between the seasons, having more episodes of dizziness in summer and autumn and with an increasing trend between 2010 and 2013. The number of hospitalizations has increased annually over this period.
Discussion: The epidemiology of vertigo and vestibular disorders is still a specific field to study, because it may be useful for clinical decision-making and health care planning.
Conclusion: The study revealed that cases of vertigo in urgency increased annually and are more frequent in women, in elderly population and in Summer and Autumn.


Keywords


Emergency Service, Hospital; Portugal; Vertigo/epidemiology.

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