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Numerator

Number of persons aged 18 years and over with dizziness or balance problems in the past 12 months who have ever seen a doctor or other Health Care professional, including visits to a hospital or emergency room

Denominator

Number of persons aged 18 years and over with dizziness or balance problems in the past 12 months

Methodology

From the 2008 National Health Interview Survey, Balance and Dizziness Supplement:

[NUMERATOR AND DENOMINATOR:]

DURING THE PAST 12 MONTHS, have you had a problem with dizziness or balance? Do not include times when drinking alcohol.

  1. Yes
  2. No
  3. Refused
  4. Don't know

This next question is about symptoms of dizziness or balance problems. Please tell me if you have had any of these problems in the past 12 months. Please say yes or no to each.

  • A spinning or vertigo sensation, a rocking of yourself or your surroundings
    1. Yes
    2. No
    3. Refused
    4. Don't know
  • A floating, spacey, or tilting sensation
    1. Yes
    2. No
    3. Refused
    4. Don't know
  • Feeling lightheaded, without a sense of motion
    1. Yes
    2. No
    3. Refused
    4. Don't know
  • Feeling as if you are going to pass out or faint
    1. Yes
    2. No
    3. Refused
    4. Don't know
  • Blurring of your vision when you move your head
    1. Yes
    2. No
    3. Refused
    4. Don't know
  • Feeling off-balance or unsteady
    1. Yes
    2. No
    3. Refused
    4. Don't know

DURING THE PAST 12 MONTHS, which ONE of these feelings of dizziness or balance problems bothered you the most? [Read categories below.]

  1. Feeling a sense of spinning
  2. A floating or spacey feeling
  3. Feeling lightheaded
  4. Feeling like you are about to pass out
  5. Blurred vision
  6. Unsteadiness
  7. Refused
  8. Don't know

[NUMERATOR:]

Have you ever gone to a hospital or emergency room about your most bothersome dizziness or balance problem?

  1. Yes
  2. No
  3. Refused
  4. Don't know

Have you EVER seen a doctor or other health care professional, except for in the emergency room, about your most bothersome dizziness or balance problem?

  1. Yes
  2. No
  3. Refused
  4. Don't know

The denominator includes those persons who responded “yes” to having a balance or dizziness problem in the past 12 months or who responded “yes” to having any of the six listed symptoms of balance or dizziness problems. The numerator includes those persons who responded “yes” to having a balance or dizziness problem in the past 12 months or who responded “yes” to having any of the six listed symptoms of balance or dizziness problems AND who also responded “yes” to either (1) having gone to a hospital or emergency room or (2) seen a doctor or other health professional about their most bothersome balance or dizziness problem.

Vestibular (inner ear balance) disorders can cause dizziness, vertigo, imbalance, problems with hearing, nausea, fatigue, anxiety, concentration, and other symptoms. They can deeply affect a person's day-to-day functioning, ability to work, social relationships, and quality of life. Balance is a state of body equilibrium or stability. The vestibular and balance disorders are among the most common complaints that lead patients to visit their primary care physicians and are one of the most common reasons elderly people seek medical advice.


This Indicator uses Age-Adjustment Groups:

  • Total: 18-44, 45-64, 65-74, 75+
  • Sex: 18-44, 45-64, 65-74, 75+
  • Race/Ethnicity: 18-44, 45-64, 65-74, 75+
  • Educational Attainment: 25-44, 45-64, 65-74, 75+
  • Family Income: 18-44, 45-64, 65-74, 75+
  • Family Type: 18-44, 45-64, 65-74, 75+
  • Country of Birth: 18-44, 45-64, 65-74, 75+
  • Disability Status: 18-44, 45-64, 65-74, 75+
  • Geographic Location: 18-44, 45-64, 65-74, 75+
  • Health Insurance Status: 18-44, 45-64
  • Marital Status: 18-44, 45-64, 65-74, 75+

References

Baloh RW. 1994. Approach to the dizzy patient. Baillieres Clin Neurol. 3(3):453–465.

Hamilton SS. 2002. Evaluation of clumsiness in children. Am Fam Physician. 66(8):1435–1440.

Hannaford PC, Simpson JA, Bisset AF, et al. 2005. The prevalence of ear, nose and throat problems in the community: results from a national cross-sectional postal survey in Scotland. Fam Pract. 22(3):227–233.