Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is the most common type of peripheral vertigo. BPPV often relapses after the first episode, with a recurrence rate between 15% and 50%. To date both the aetiopathogenetic processes that lead to otoconia detachment and the factors that make BPPV a relapsing disease are still unclear, but recent epidemiological studies have shown a possible association with cardiovascular risk factors. The aim of the present study (Sesto Senso Survey) was to evaluate in the Italian population through an observational survey, the main demographic and clinical characteristics of patients with BPPV (first episode or recurrent) with particular focus on the potential cardiovascular risk factors. The survey was conducted in 158 vestibology centres across Italy on 2,682 patients (mean age 59.3 ± 15.0 years; 39.1% males and 60.9% females) suffering from BPPV, from January 2013 to December 2014. The results showed a high prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure (55.8%), hypercholesterolaemia (38.6%) and diabetes (17.7%), as well as a family history of cardiovascular disease (49.4%). A high percentage of patients also had hearing loss (42.9%), tinnitus (41.2%), or both (26.8%). The presence of hypertension, dyslipidaemia and pre-existing cardiovascular comorbidities were significantly related to recurrent BPPV episodes (OR range between 1.84 and 2.31). In addition, the association with diabetes and thyroid/autoimmune disease (OR range between 1.73 and 1.89) was relevant. The survey results confirm the significant association between cardiovascular comorbidities and recurrent BPPV and identify them as a potential important risk factor for recurrence of BPPV in the Italian population, paving the way for the evaluation of new therapeutic strategies in the treatment of this disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas