Does positional vertigo really increase the risk of dementia?

Association of dementia in patients with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo.

Lo MH, Lin CL, Chuang E, Chuang TY, Kao CH.

Acta Neurol Scand 2017; 135:197-203.



We conducted a cohort study to investigate whether benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is correlated with an increased risk of dementia.


We established a case cohort comprising 7818 patients aged over 20 years who were diagnosed with BPPV from 2000 to 2010. In addition, we formed a control cohort by randomly selecting 31,272 people without BPPV and matched them with the BPPV patients according to gender, age, and index year. Cox proportional hazard regressions were performed to compute the hazard ratio (HR) of dementia after we adjusted for demographic characteristics and comorbidity.


The prevalence of comorbidity was higher among patients with BPPV than among those without BPPV. In addition, patients with BPPV exhibited a 1.24-fold (95% confidence interval, CI 1.09-1.40; P < 0.001) higher risk of dementia than those without BPPV after we adjusted for age, gender, and comorbidity. An analysis stratified according to demographic factors revealed that women with BPPV exhibited a 1.36-fold (95% CI 1.16-1.59; P < 0.001) higher risk of dementia. Patients with BPPV aged over 65 years exhibited a significantly higher risk of dementia (adjusted HR: 1.26; 95% CI 1.10-1.43; P < 0.001) than those without BPPV.


Patients with BPPV exhibited a higher risk of dementia than those without BPPV.

This reference is now included in the neurochecklist:

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV): posterior canal

Abstract link

Eyes of the vertigo stairs. Josh Liba on Flikr.

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