Which etiologies of dizziness, vertigo, and imbalance is most common in the elderly?

Updated: Mar 13, 2017
  • Author: Hesham M Samy, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Robert A Egan, MD  more...
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Accurate diagnosis of dizziness or unsteadiness in the elderly may be more difficult, mostly because underlying disorders may present in an atypical fashion. Although dizziness in the elderly can be attributed to weakness and fatigue at times, it may be more serious than in younger patients and should be carefully investigated. [6] In a study of of 731 elderly patients (70 yr or older) with dizziness, the 2 most common causes were found to be benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (27.6%) and hyperventilation/anxiety (15.3%). [7] In another study, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo was the most frequent diagnosis in all age groups, including those older than 70 years, being diagnosed in 53.3% of 1034 patients. [8]

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